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Washington DC metro  map


Washington, D.C., has a population of approx. 600,000, although with some 3.9 million in the metropolitan area, which extends into their neighbouring states of Maryland and Virginia. Compared to older subways, Washington's underground stations feature spacious vaulted roofs. Most outer branches run on the surface, the Orange Line towards Vienna runs in the median strip of an expressway. Apart from the Red Line, all other five lines form an interlaced network with up to three lines sharing tracks and platforms along certain stretches.

Currently the system includes 189.7 km (~87 km underground) and 94 stations (52 underground).


Washington Metro Rail Washington Metro Rail Washington Metro Rail


27 Mar 1976 - Red Line Farragut North - Rhode Island Ave (6.8km)
15 Dec 1976 - Red Line Gallery Place station opened
17 Jan 1977 - Red Line to Dupont Circle (0.7km)
01 Jul 1977 -
Blue Line Stadium-Armory - National Airport (19.4km)
06 Feb 1978 - Red Line Rhode Island Ave - Silver Spring (9.2km)
20 Nov 1978 - Orange Line Stadium-Armory - New Carollton (10km)
01 Dec 1979 - Orange Line Rosslyn - Ballston-MU (4.2km)
22 Nov 1980 - Blue Line Stadium-Armory - Addison Rd (5.6km)
05 Dec 1980 - Red Line Dupont Circle - Van Ness-UDC (3.3km)
30 Apr 1983 - Yellow Line
Gallery Place/Chinatown - Pentagon (5.3km)
17 Dec 1983 - Yellow Line (Pentagon -) Nat'l Airport - Huntington (8.4km)
25 Aug 1984 - Red Line Van Ness-UDC - Grosvenor (11km)
15 Dec 1984 - Red Line Grosvenor - Shady Grove (11.1km)
07 Jun 1986 - Orange Line Ballston - Vienna (14.7km)

22 Sep 1990 - Red Line Silver Spring - Wheaton (5.2km)
11 May 1991 - Yellow/Green Line Gallery Place-Chinatown - U Street/Cardozo (2.7km)
15 Jun 1991 - Blue Line King St - Van Dorn St (6.1km)
28 Dec 1991 - Green Line L'Enfant Plaza - Anacostia (4.7km)
11 Dec 1993 - Green Line Fort Totten - Greenbelt (12.8km)

29 Jun 1997 - Blue Line Van Dorn St - Franconia-Springfield (5.3km)
25 Jul 1998 - Red Line Wheaton - Glenmont (2.3km)
18 Sep 1999 - Green Line U Street-Cardozo - Fort Totten (4.7km): central section with two new stations: Georgia Ave/Petworth and Columbia Heights.
13 Jan 2001 - Green Line Anacostia - Branch Ave. (10.4km) completes 100-miles network (actually 103 miles)
20 Nov 2004 - Red Line New York Ave station (now NoMa - Gallaudet U) added between Union Station and Rhode Island Ave
18 Dec 2004 - Blue Line Addison Rd/Seat Pleasant - Largo Town Center (5km)

26 July 2014 - Silver Line Wiehle-Reston East - East Falls Church (- Largo Town Center) (18.7km)

25 May 2019 - Yellow Line extended from Fort Totten to Greenbelt, sharing tracks with Green Line


A 37 km branch off the Orange Line from just east of West Falls Church station to Dulles Airport, called the Silver Line, is under construction. After phase 1 from just east of the existing West Falls Church Metro station to Wiehle Avenue on the east edge of Reston opened in July 2014, phase 2 is delayed until at least spring 2022. Full details here!

View map with Dulles Airport extension!

A fill-in station, Potomac Yard, is under construction on the Blue/Yellow Line between Ronald Reagan Washington Intl Airport and Braddock Road stations in Alexandria (2022).

Running through Maryland, the Purple Line will be a 25.5 km tangential light rail route through the northeastern areas of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area (2024). See project website!



Washington Metro Rail Washington Metro Rail Washington Metro Rail

 DC Streetcar

To complement the Metrorail system, Washington DC is bringing back streetcars in a modern version. The first line eventually opened on 27 Feb 2016, running east along H Street from Union Station to Benning Road (3.3 km).

[Project Website]

DC Streetcar DC Streetcar

Robert Schwandl: SUBWAYS & LIGHT RAIL in the U.S.A. - Vol. 1: East Coast. - Sept. 2010, ISBN 978-3-936573-28-2 (More)

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: METRO AT 25. Celebrating the Past. Building the Future. - WMATA, 96 p, A4, largely illustrated, colour, ISBN 0970871902 (More)




Washington Metro Rail Washington Metro Rail Washington Metro Rail


WMATA (Official Page)

Dulles Airport extension project (Silver Line)

Silver Line

DC Streetcar (Official Page)

MARC Commuter Services (Maryland Transit Administration)

VRE Commuter Services (Virginia Railway Express)

Purple Line Project

Washington D.C. Metrorail at Wikipedia

Washington D.C. Metrorail at nysubway.org

Washingtonpost.com: Traffic Guide

Jon Bell's Washington D.C. Page

More of Jon Bell's photographs

Beyond DC - DC transit blog

Building the Washington Metro: An Online Exhibit by Zachary Schrag


Subways & Light Rail in the USA 1: East Coast

in the U.S.A.
Vol.1 - East Coast

Click here for more info!



2007 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)