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 The Red Line

By Wayne Whitehorne     

Terminals

Shady Grove 

Glenmont 

Grosvenor-Strathmore 

Silver Spring 

The Red Line runs roughly in the shape of the letter "U", starting and ending in the Maryland suburbs, not more than a few miles apart. It is a very heavily-traveled line, with 27 stations on its 26.5-mile route. This is where most of the original 1000-series Rohr cars still see regular service, although all the other stocks can be seen; the 3000-series cars are the most common.

We'll start our journey at the Shady Grove station.

Shady Grove

Shady Grove. Island platform with peaked roof. The station sits on a low embankment. 5,467 parking spaces are provided. There is a maintenance and inspection facility with a layup yard north of the station. The station entrance is located north of Redland Road and east of Route 355. There is also access from nearby Interstate 370. Station opening date 15 December 1984.

Rockville

Rockville. Island platform with peaked roof, partly on embankment and partly on a short elevated structure. There is a small parking lot with 524 all-day spaces. The station is located on Hungerford Drive, just east of Route 355 in the center of downtown Rockville. Station opening date 15 December 1984.

Twinbrook

Twinbrook is next. Located east of Rockville Pike between Halpine Road and Twinbrook Parkway. The station features a gull-wing roof and island platform and sits at grade at the north end, descending to a shallow cut at the south end. 1,097 parking spaces are provided and several bus routes serve the station. South of the station, the tracks descend into the first of two shallow connecting tunnels. Station opening date 15 December 1984.

White Flint

White Flint. The station is located at Marinelli Road east of Rockville Pike. It has a peaked roof and island platform and sits in a shallow cut, the tracks emerging from and descending into their connecting tunnels at either end of the platform. There are several shopping malls and office parks nearby. 982 parking spaces are available.
Station opening date 15 December 1984.

Grosvenor-Strathmore

Grosvenor-Strathmore. Located just east of Rockville Pike between Montrose Avenue and Tuckerman Lane. Island platform and peaked roof, with the station entrance building forming a pod over the platform. The tracks enter their shallow tunnel at the north end of the station, and slowly ascend to an embankment at the south end. There are 1,796 parking spaces. Station opening date 15 December 1984.

At this point, the tracks rise to a height of nearly fifty feet to clear the Beltway, and just as quickly descend to subway, not to see daylight until north of Union Station, on the opposite side of the District. Station opening date 25 August 1984.

Medical Center

Medical Center is the next and first underground station. Island platform, with a four-coffer ceiling vault. There is no parking facility, although there are bicycle racks and there is a drop-off lane at the station entrance. This station is among the least used in the entire Metro. Location is right across from the Hospital Complex (NIH and Walter Reed Medical Center) on the west side of Wisconsin Avenue. Station opening date 25 August 1984.

Bethesda

Bethesda. Island platform with four-coffer vault. Located in a plaza at East-West Highway and Wisconsin Avenue, this station serves Bethesda from a strategically-placed central location. There are a large number of stores and offices nearby, so this station gets a lot of traffic. There is no commuter parking, but a number of buses serve the station.
Station opening date 25 August 1984.

Friendship Heights

Friendship Heights. Sitting astride the district line, with two entrances - one at Western Avenue and one at Jenifer Street NW, this station also features an island platform and four-coffer arch ceiling. There are a number of trendy stores in the area, and shoppers generate a good amount of the station's traffic. No parking facility, but lots of bus routes to feed in. Station opening date 25 August 1984.

Tenleytown- AU

Tenleytown-AU. Same station design as the ones preceding - island platform and four-coffer vault. Located at Wisconsin Avenue NW at Albermarle Street NW. There is a special faregate just for the ADA elevator entrance at the station's south end. Station opening date 25 August 1984.

Van Ness -UDC

Van Ness-UDC. After swinging east deep beneath Yuma St NW and back south under Connecticut Avenue NW, we arrive at this island-platform, 4-coffer station. Located at Veazy Street NW rather than Van Ness itself. There is a bus hub nearby, and a nearby courtyard features "planet" sculptures. Station opening date 5 December 1981.

Cleveland Park

Cleveland Park. Located on the east side of Connecticut Avenue between Ordway St NW and Porter St NW, this station also features the same design as its predecessors - island platform and four-coffer vault. This station is closer to the National Zoo than the stop that bears the Zoo's name, which follows. Station opening date 5 December 1981.

Woodley Park/ Zoo

Woodley Park/Zoo/Adams-Morgan. This is one of the deepest stations in the entire Metro system, 140 feet below Connecticut Avenue NW, at 24th Street NW and Calvert Road NW. This was the first station opened that featured the four-coffer design. Island platform, as is standard for this section. In November of 2004, an accident involving a runaway train of Rohr cars occurred here. Station opening date 5 December 1981.

DuPont Circle

DuPont Circle. The first bay platform station, it features the classic 22-coffer "waffle" vault. Located deep beneath Connecticut Avenue NW with the main entrance at "Q" Street NW, this heavily-trafficked station features one of the longest escalators in the system. A second entrance is a block and a half to the south, in DuPont Circle proper. A number of large hotels are right nearby, making this a convenient stop for visiting tourists. Station opening date 17 January 1977.

Farragut North

Farragut North. Quite possibly the busiest single station in the system, this station features the 22-coffer vault and an island platform and is located directly beneath Connecticut Avenue NW. There is an entrance at "L" Street NW and another at "K" Street. Right in the center of the downtown office district, Farragut North station sees among the highest daily ridership numbers of all Metro stations. Station opening date 27 March 1976.

Metro Center

Metro Center. See the complexes page for a complete description of this station.

Gallery Place Chinatown

Gallery Place-Chinatown. See the complexes page for a complete description of this station.

Judiciary Square

Judiciary Square. One of the first stations completed in 1976, this bay-platform station features the original 22-coffer vault and has two entrances- one on "F" Street NW between 4th and 5th NW and another at 4th and "E" Streets NW. The nearby court complexes give this station its name. Station opening date 27 March 1976.

Union Station

Union Station. Located in the eaves of Union Station, at Massachusetts Ave and 1st Street NW, this busy station features a modified-shape 22-coffer vault and an island platform. Serving the Amtrak , VRE , and MARC lines, as well as a gaggle of bus routes, this station never seems to be empty. Station opening date 27 March 1976.

After Union Station, we emerge from the tunnel and into a substantial outdoor stretch.

New York Avenue

New York Avenue-Gallaudet University. The newest station in the system (as of 2005). This station, located on an embankment, features an island platform and a Metro "New Look" canopy with recessed fluorescent lights. It is located in the triangle formed by New York Avenue NE, Florida Avenue NE and "M" Street NE. Rather than building a bay platform station on the existing right of way, Metro re-engineered the Red Line in this area to accommodate the new station, at considerable extra expense. Station opening date 20 November 2004.

Rhode Island avenue

Rhode Island Avenue. Island platform with classic "gull wing" station canopy, this original 1976 station was the original north terminus on opening day. It is located on an embankment, at Rhode Island Avenue NE just west of Reed Street NE.
Station opening date 27 March 1976.

Brookland- CUA

Brookland-CUA. Island platform with a modified gull wing roof, this station serves the Brookland area and the nearby Immaculate Conception shrine and cathedral. The station is at grade and is located at Michigan Avenue NE at Bunker Hill Road NE. Station opening date 6 February 1978.

Fort Totten

Fort Totten. See the complexes page for a complete description of this station.

Takoma

Takoma. Located off of Blair Road NE near Cedar Street NE, this grade level station features a gull wing roof and an island platform. There is no regular parking but there is a small drop-off lot. The CSX/MARC/Amtrak tracks are immediately parallel to the Red Line here. Station opening date 6 February 1978.

Silver Spring

Silver Spring. Right in the heart of downtown Silver Spring sits this island platform station with its classic gull wing roof. It is located on embankment astride Colesville Road, just east of East-West Highway. The Amtrak/MARC station is just to the south. There is no commuter parking, but there are ample bus connections. This was the terminus of the Red Line up until 1986. Station opening date 6 February 1978. This station is home to Penguin Rush Hour-a very unique artwork.

About a half mile to the north of Silver Spring, the tracks take a sharp turn to the right and dive into the subway once again. They will remain there for the rest of the journey.

Forest Glen

Forest Glen. This underground station is the deepest in the Metro System at 195 feet. Elevators are needed to reach the split island platform. There is a modified four-coffer vault ceiling which is much lower than most other Metro stations. The station is located at Georgia Avenue at Forest Glen Road and has 596 parking spaces. Station opening date 22 September 1990.

Wheaton

Wheaton. This station features Metro's longest escalator - it takes four minutes and twenty seconds to travel! Located at Georgia Avenue and Reedie Drive. Parking lot with 977 spaces available. Same layout as Forest Glen - split island platform and low vault ceiling. Station opening date 22 September 1990.

Glenmont

Glenmont. The last stop on the Red Line. The station entrance is at Georgia Avenue north of Urbana Drive. The station has an island platform with a six-coffer vault ceiling design. It used to feature pink sodium light but this has been changed to standard metal halide. North of the station the tracks loop around and emerge into the Glenmont storage facility and inspection yard. The parking facility has 1,791 spaces. Station opening date 25 July 1998.

 

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