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Baltimore Metro Subway

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by QNS Chris, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. QNS Chris

    QNS Chris Active Member

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    Overview: The oft-forgotten 15.4 mile, 14 station Metro Subway heavy rail rapid transit line of Baltimore, MD, operated by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA Maryland).

    Justification
    : The Baltimore Metro Subway (Metro Subway) is the perfect fit for a mid-sized TSW DLC, and is fairly obscure in relation to the North American transit scene. It's obscurity would generate considerable interest among North American TSW players and beyond, as well as offer a glimpse into the rapid rail operations of an underrepresented mid-sized urban area along the Northeast Corridor. The 15.4 mile route runs underground, at-grade, and elevated over the course of its route, making it a prime candidate for a TSW route, without the need for an overwhelming amount of development resources (given its length).

    Details
    : The Metro Subway (see fig. 1 for map) has great diversity of operating territory - running underground through the Baltimore urban core, elevated in the less dense neighborhoods of West Baltimore, and at-grade in the suburban corridor, eventually running in the median of a satellite expressway (I-795). The architecture and general aesthetic feel of the system is typical of systems contemporaneously designed in the early-mid 1980s, blending brutalist concrete design with large pieces of abstract public art.

    The Metro Subway currently utilizes the Budd Universal Transit Vehicle (see fig. 2 for image), which are nearly identical to those employed on the Metrorail in Miami, FL. The trains are also similar in both layout and size to the Los Angeles Metro Red / Purple line subway trains. The Budd cars draw power from a third rail, and have a top, rarely operated speed of 70 mph (wikipedia).

    Side note: the Metro Subway was recently rebranded as the "Metro SubwayLink" by the Maryland Department of Transportation. The majority of those familiar with the system still refer to it as "the Metro", "the Metro Subway", or simply "the subway".

    Station Profiles: The route begins underground at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore, curving to the southwest into Downtown Baltimore, then turning northwest through West Baltimore and continuing onto its terminus in suburban Owings Mills, in Baltimore County. See below for a detailed profile of each of the 14 Metro Subway stations:

    - Johns Hopkins Hospital: underground, constructed in the mid-1990s as part of "phase 3" of the Metro subway. This station has three entrances, two onto the street, and one leading directly into basement of the adjacent hospital. The station is noticeably different in overall aesthetic and design from the remainder of the Metro Subway station, given the later period in which it was constructed. Abstract public art panels adorn the platform walls.

    [​IMG]
    source: nycsubway.org, 2004

    - Shot Tower / Market Place: underground, constructed as part of "phase 3" of the Metro Subway along with Johns Hopkins. This station has two entrances leading to the street. Like its sister station Johns Hopkins, it bears different aesthetics from the remainder of the line's stations.

    [​IMG]
    source: nycsubway.org, 2004

    - Charles Center: underground, the original terminus of the Metro Subway prior to construction of the "phase 3" extension to Johns Hopkins. The station concourse is massive, and is thought to have been constructed to act as a transfer station for additional lines which never came to fruition. The station has two entrances to the street in Downtown Baltimore, with two separate fare control areas.

    upload_2019-7-22_3-20-29.png
    Source: Google Image search, Star Wallace, April 2019

    - Lexington Market: underground, a cavernous station with two entrances and fare control areas, Lexington Market station is adjacent to the Baltimore Lexington Market, one of the last-of-its-kind urban markets in the United States. Mosaic tilework adorns the crossbeams in this station.

    [​IMG]
    Source: Ymblanter - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65931826

    - State Center / Cultural Center: underground, with a relatively large concourse area and a massive piece of suspended public art. One entrance and one fare control area.
    [​IMG]
    Source: orazal - Flickr.com, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2942360

    - Upton / Avenue Market
    : underground, similar in layout to Penn North and Mondawmin. Large Public art mural adorns northern wall outside of fare control. One entrance, one fare control area.

    [​IMG]
    Source: http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Baltimore_Metro.html

    - Penn-North: underground, typical box-layout, however a bit larger than its sister station at Upton. Two entrances, one fare control area.
    [​IMG]
    Source: YouTube, Ben Schumin 2014

    - Mondawmin: underground, typical box-layout. Situated outside the parking lot for the Mondawmin shopping mall, the station is a major transfer point for buses to points within Baltimore City.

    [​IMG]
    Source: http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Baltimore_Metro.html
    [​IMG]
    Source: Baltimore Sun

    - West Cold Spring: the first elevated station, reached after emerging from the tunnel portal after Mondawmin and climbing to the concrete viaduct with the running rails. Station is typical of Metro Subway elevated profile - three levels 1) street, 2) mezzanine with fare control, 3) platform.
    [​IMG]
    Source: Twitter, Gigi Barnett
    [​IMG]
    Source: Mapio.net

    - Rogers Avenue
    : next elevated station, similar profile to West Cold Spring. The Metro Subway yard facility is located between Rogers Ave and the next station, Reisterstown Plaza.
    [​IMG]
    Source: Foursquare, King 2017

    - Reisterstown Plaza: The final elevated station, Reisterstown also functions as a bus interchange for buses to Baltimore City / County. Public art adorns the pedestrian bridge from the parking lot / kiss & ride to the station mezzanine.
    [​IMG]
    Source: Mitchazenia - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72152323
    [​IMG]
    Source: Flickr, MTA Maryland 2004

    - Milford Mill: The first at-grade station in the final stretch of the Metro Subway. This suburban station features a large parking lot, and is situation at the top of an embankment.
    [​IMG]
    Source: Foursquare, Stephon B, 2013

    - Old Court: The second to last station, Old Court is located underneath an expressway interchange between the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) and the I-795 spur, where the line continues in the median until its terminus at Owings Mills. At Old Court is a Maintenance of Way facility which includes the Metro Subway's single grade crossing (non-public). The station is unique in design, similar to the Franconia Springfield station on the Washington Metro. A long pedestrian footbridge provides access to the station mezzanine / fare control from the parking lot, with the platform located below.
    [​IMG]
    Source: Onore Baka Sama - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11429569
    [​IMG]
    Source: Rail Passengers Maryland

    - Owings Mills: The terminal station, located in the median of I-795, adjacent to a large transit-oriented-development parcel, as well as a multi-level parking garage, and a large parking lot. There are two entrances to the station mezzanine, both tunnels to the north and south running under I-795 leading to the single fare control area.
    [​IMG]
    Source: Jon Bell, 1998
    [​IMG]
    Source: Maryland Daily Record, 2015

    Figure 1. Metro Subway diagram
    upload_2019-7-22_3-29-23.png
    source: MTA Maryland, 2019

    Figure 2. Budd Universal Transit Vehicle
    [​IMG]
    source: Sturmovik at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19654339
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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  2. Thelonius16

    Thelonius16 Active Member

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    The Baltimore Metro has also stood in for the Washington Metro in a number of movies because it's easier to get filming permits. This suggests they are willing to work with outside media companies and allow access to their system.
     
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  3. QNS Chris

    QNS Chris Active Member

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    Yes! To cite a few where Baltimore has stood in for DC:
    - House of Cards (multiple episodes)
    - No Way Out (1987)
    - Along Came a Spider (2001)
    - The Man with One Red Shoe (1985)
    - The Invasion (2007)

    Additionally, the Metro Subway has been featured in (not exhaustive)...
    - Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
    - Homicide: Life on the Street / Subway (1997)
    - Luv (2012)
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  4. QNS Chris

    QNS Chris Active Member

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    Additional Metro Subway rolling stock / infrastructure pictures:

    First off, check out this FANTASTIC, comprehensive piece on the Metro Subway by Railfan Guides of the U.S. - includes details on signals, infrastructure, and operations.

    Link: http://www.railfanguides.us/bal_metro/index.htm

    Front view at Reisterstown Plaza
    [​IMG]
    Source: Flickr, MW Transit Photos

    Interior view, post-rehab
    [​IMG]
    Source: Oren's Transit Page, 2018

    Car 139 at Wabash Shops (see the link below for a detailed photo essay of the shops via Subchat) http://www.subchat.com/readflat.asp?Id=1478901&p=1#1478965)
    [​IMG]
    Source: Subchat, 2018
    Link to Subchat Wabash Shops thread: http://www.subchat.com/readflat.asp?Id=1478901&p=1#1478965

    View from mainline to Wabash Shops (see link below to Jersey Mike's Rail Adventures "Photos: Baltimore Link" for more Metro Subway pictures)

    [​IMG]
    Source: Jersey Mike's Rail Adventures, 2018
    Link to Jersey Mike's Rail Adventures Photos: Baltimore Link http://prr4ever.blogspot.com/2017/06/17-06-18-photos-baltimore-link.html

    Hitachi Ansaldo rendering of proposed Metro Subway trains

    [​IMG]
    Source: Railway Age, 2017
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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  5. QNS Chris

    QNS Chris Active Member

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    Additional Metro Subway ROW pictures:

    Track stretch between Rogers Avenue and Reisterstown Plaza stations.
    The tracks at far left lead to the Wabash Shops and Metro Subway trainyard.
    [​IMG]
    Source: Jersey Mike's Rail Adventures, 2018

    Approach to Old Court station (rear view) with expressway interchange above, and Maintenance-of-Way facility at left
    upload_2019-7-22_19-31-51.png
    Source: Youtube, MJofLakeland1, 2015

    Leaving brief tunnel section between Old Court and Milford Mill (rear view), on approach to Milford Mill
    upload_2019-7-22_19-34-53.png
    Source: Youtube, MJofLakeland1, 2015
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. QNS Chris

    QNS Chris Active Member

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    Geographical Route Map:
    upload_2019-7-22_20-1-20.png
    Source: MTA Maryland, graphics by QNS Chris
     
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  7. QNS Chris

    QNS Chris Active Member

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    Route Map with Grade Profile & Key Infrastructure Features:
    upload_2019-7-26_19-43-58.png
    Source: MTA Maryland, graphics by QNS Chris
     

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