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The Green Line of the Washington Metro consists of 21 subway stations from Branch Avenue to Greenbelt. It starts in Prince George's County, Maryland, runs through the District of Columbia, and exits back out into Prince George's County. This was the last line started and completed in the original Metrorail plan, and is the north-south line through Washington. It shares four stations in Washington with the Yellow Line.


Out of all the five Metrorail lines, the Green Line took the longest to build in its entirety, and deviated the most from the planned 1970s "101-mile system" route alignment shown on maps of the time. (These same changes bumped the original system mileage up to 103.) The tunnel from Gallery Place to Waterfront stations, including the junction with the future Yellow Line was built at the same time (early 1970s) as all the other Metro tunnels in downtown Washington, but delays and controversy dogged much of the rest of the line, exacerbated by lean Federal transit funding in the 1980s.

The Green Line's original routing through Anacostia southeast to Branch Avenue hit snags in 1976 when preliminary engineering indicated a difficult and costly undercrossing of the Anacostia River in the planned location, and also predicted that construction of the tunnel through Anacostia under Good Hope Road (with stations at Anacostia and Alabama Avenue SE) would be highly disruptive to the communities above it. In 1978, an easier southeast Green Line route was developed by the governments of the District and Prince George's County, Maryland that veered from the Approved Regional System (ARS) alignment near Navy Yard, to serve Congress Heights in D.C. (with concomitant easier tunneling under the Anacostia), and St. Barnabas Road and the terminus of Rosecroft in Maryland. The WMATA board approved the entire Rosecroft alignment by 1980. However, substantial support for the Prince George's segment of the Branch Ave. route remained, as supporters of the latter obtained, and later sustained, an injunction against the Rosecroft route in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. This impasse was not resolved until May 1984, when WMATA offered a compromise routing that used the Rosecroft route to Congress Heights, then swung northeast to follow the District/Maryland southeast boundary to take up the Branch Avenue route at Naylor Road station. The injunction was lifted, and construction commenced between the Waterfront station shell and Anacostia; startup beyond Anacostia to Branch Avenue had to wait until the early 1990s for full funding.

Two realignments also occurred at the north end of the Green Line, but with less acrimony. North of Fort Totten, the line was to have surfaced in the median of Interstate 95, to a point just west of Prince George's Plaza, with an intermediate station at Chillum. I-95 and Metro would have run through the Northwest Branch Stream Valley Park; the cancellation of I-95 through the District and out to the Beltway in 1974 meant that it was no longer necessary or appropriate to condemn an I-95-sized swath of parkland just for Metro (and a Metro station and its parking lot). A new routing skirting most of the park was eventually selected by WMATA, and Federally approved by the mid-1980s. The planned Chillum station was relocated and named West Hyattsville. The other alignment dispute occurred in the Petworth section of Washington, involving whether the tunnel would go under or skirt Rock Creek Cemetery, and how to go through this soft-soil burial ground (it was skirted, using the New Austrian Tunnelling method), and the least disruptive way under New Hampshire Avenue from Georgia Ave-Petworth to Columbia Heights (the tunnels were stacked).

Service on the Green Line began on May 11, 1991 on three stations between U St/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo and Gallery Pl-Chinatown. However, initially, all trains through this section were run as Yellow Line trains, traveling to Huntington. The Green Line formally began on December 28, 1991, with three stations south of L'Enfant Plaza to Anacostia. At this time, the Yellow Line above Mt Vernon Sq/7th St-Convention Center was discontinued. The four station branch north of Fort Totten to Greenbelt opened on December 11, 1993. The mid-city line was completed on September 18, 1999 with two stations opening, and the last five stations south to Branch Ave opened on January 13, 2001, completing the system.

As seen on old route and system maps in the original 1000-series cars and station pylons, original plans called for Yellow Line trains to run north on the E Route all the way to Greenbelt. However, this idea had been dropped by the early 1980s. On December 31, 2006, Yellow Line service was extended to Fort Totten during off-peak hours.

A short time after the branch north of Fort Totten opened, on January 27, 1997, the Green Line Commuter Shortcut began as a six month experiment, allowing passengers to get on a train on the Green Line segment and travel as far as Farragut North on the Red Line without having to switch trains at Fort Totten. This was accomplished by utilizing a single-track spur (B & E Junction) between the Green and Red Lines near (and bypassing) Fort Totten station. Due to its success, it was continued until September 17, 1999 when the mid-city portion of the Green Line was completed.

List of stations, south to northEdit

Future plans Edit

Under consideration is a proposed extension from the line's Greenbelt terminus to Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI). This expansion, which would also serve the Laurel and Ft. Meade areas of central Maryland, would link the Washington Metro system to the Baltimore Light Rail of the Maryland Transit Administration, the first link between two urban rapid transit systems since PATH trains were linked to the New York subway system in 1911.

See also Edit

External links Edit

References Edit

Deiter, R. The story of Metro: Transportation and politics in the nation's capital. Interurban Press, 1990. ISBN 0-916374-88-2.

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