Atlanta, GA MARTA Heavy Rail System

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AmtrakRider
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Atlanta, GA MARTA Heavy Rail System

Post by AmtrakRider » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:43 am

Site Admin Note: I split off a few posts into a new thread, and another existing thread.

This thread will concern current, day-to-day operations of MARTA.

For discussion of the North Line extension: MARTA North Line Extension Atlanta, GA

For discussion of the East extension: MARTA Atlanta, GA East Extension

For discussion of Clifton Corridor: Atlanta MARTA Clifton Corridor Light Rail Project

For discussion of the Atlanta Streetcar and Beltline: Atlanta Streetcar & Beltline Project


Doesn't Atlanta have a light rail system? I don't think it's a subway, but I'm sure I've seen such trains on recent visits to the city.

The link given in the message at the top of the forum doesn't include Atlanta, so I was curious.

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Post by octr202 » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:56 am

Its very much a heavy rail subway/rapid transit system, of the same era and style as the Washington Metro, Baltimore Metro, Miami Metrorail, and LA's Red Line subway.

http://world.nycsubway.org/us/atlanta/
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Post by Otto Vondrak » Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:47 am

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gt7348b
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Post by gt7348b » Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:52 am

MARTA is a four line system (North, Northeast, East-West, and Proctor Creek) or two line system with branches (North-South line with branches to Doraville and North Springs, and East-West line with a branch to Bankhead) depending on how you look at it. There are 49 miles of track and 38 stations. The system was built between 1975 and 2000 with the first stations opening in 1979 on the East Line between Georgia State and Avondale and the last stations opening in December 2000 on the North Line at North Springs and Sandy Springs.

Average weekday station entries into the rail system between July 06 and Jan '07 were 203,258 with the highest ridership stations at Airport, Five Points, and H.E. Holmes. The system runs almost completely along RR ROW with four major exceptions - the central subway downtown between Garnett and Arts Center, the North Line which runs in the median of SR 400 between Buckhead and Medical Center and then in its own ROW through the Perimeter Center area, the west line between Five Points and West Lake Stations, and the East Line between Avondale and Indian Creek.

There are three generations of vehicles manufactured by Franco-Belge (late '70s), Hitachi (late '80s) and Breda (early '00s) and are virtually identical except that the Breda's have blue seats and floors. The Hitachi and Franco-Belge cars are currently undergoing a rebuild with the Franco-Belge getting a complete overhaul including propulsion systems and, from a customer's perspective, removal of the carpeting and replacement with a rubberized floor.

Headways aren't that great with peak hour of 10 minutes on each line (or 5 minutes on the shared segments) and 15-20 minute off peak. Transfers are forced at Lindbergh Station after 9 PM for the North Line and at Vine City for the Proctor Creek Line to Bankhead. Stations, with the exception of Bankhead Station, are all capable of handling 8-car trains, but the 6-car trains are the maximum length currently used.

That's probably enough of an intro and more than you might have wanted to know about the heavy rail system. But I'm glad someone finally asked about MARTA on this board.
Atlanta - within two and a half hours of . . . the edge of its suburbs

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Post by modorney » Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:30 pm

Atlanta is going to a farecard system, you can get one free before July 1:

Breeze Card

Otherwise, a ticket will cost 50 cents extra.

Somehow, "Breeze", "Atlanta" and "July 1" strike me as possibly an oxymoron! :)

gt7348b
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Post by gt7348b » Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:48 pm

Actually, being at 1000 ft elevation, we have a fair amount of Breeze. it may be a warm breeze . . .

Yes, MARTA is switching to the Breeze card where you will have to tap in and tap out to enter and exit stations. CCT (local bus provider for Cobb County to the Northwest) is using Breeze fare media, but they still use CCT Fare products. In other words, there's stil a CCT monthly pass and a MARTA monthly pass, but no joint monthly pass. The other fixed route operators are going to install Breeze card readers on their buses, hopefully by the end of the year, but you never know.

In case anyone is interested, Breeze is a Cubic based system.
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Post by AmtrakRider » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:22 pm

gt7348b wrote: That's probably enough of an intro and more than you might have wanted to know about the heavy rail system. But I'm glad someone finally asked about MARTA on this board.
I'm glad I asked. I will make a point of checking out the website and riding it the next time I am in the ATL area.

BTW, does the fact that it is heavy rail mean that it uses the same track system[s] as the Amtrak and freight trains do? (Hmmm . . . I prolly need to read more about this too . . .)

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Post by JamesT4 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:52 am

AmtrakRider wrote: BTW, does the fact that it is heavy rail mean that it uses the same track system[s] as the Amtrak and freight trains do? (Hmmm . . . I prolly need to read more about this too . . .)
Marta Is a subway line so that it uses it's own right of way.

One thing ahout it's third rail from the last time I been to Atlanta is that it's covered on one side and not exposed on all sides like in Chicago, and New york systems are.
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gt7348b
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Post by gt7348b » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:00 am

While MARTA is frequently in the same ROW as CSX or Norfolk Southern, they do not share tracks. MARTA has its own tracks. The platform at Chamblee, Brookhaven, and the pedestrian overpass at Lakewood probably provide the best vantage points for watching freight activity. If you take Amtrak, the Amtrak Station is not at a MARTA station, but you can exit the Amtrak Station, walk to the corner where the bus shelter is and take the next bus going towards Downtown (over the freeway) and you'll end up at Arts Center Station. If you fly, there is an elevated station right in the terminal building similar to Cleveland's.

Personally, my favorite station is Civic Center, which is a subway station, but is over a freeway.
Atlanta - within two and a half hours of . . . the edge of its suburbs

Trolleycar

Atlanta, GA: MARTA Heavy Rail

Post by Trolleycar » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:31 am

The MARTA Rail Rapid Transit system is a Third Rail Coummuter Rail system.

Features 2 Trunk Lines, 2 Branch Lines with 299 Rapid Transit Railcars

4 GE 50 Tonner Switcher Locomotives, 2 French Made Center Switchers that Diesel Hydralic Locomotives.

With Maintainace of Way Freight Cars.

With 3 Railcar Shop/Yards: Avondale, South and Amour

38 stations and 48 Miles of Tracks

gt7348b
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Re: MARTA Heavy Rail Rapid Transit system

Post by gt7348b » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:25 pm

Actually - there are 338 rail cars.

My favorite stations are:
1. Decatur - '70s glory!
2. Peachtree Center - all the exposed granite
3. Civic Center - skylights and the view of the freeway
4. Inman Park - All Brick
5. King Memorial - It looks like a giant tank floating in the air, but is surprising open inside
Atlanta - within two and a half hours of . . . the edge of its suburbs

bluegrass-express

Re: MARTA Heavy Rail Rapid Transit system

Post by bluegrass-express » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:01 pm

I worked for General Railway Signal in the applications engineering group that provided (part of) the automatic train control for MARTA. I was given Peachtree Center equipment layout to do, a simple inline station (no interlocking), and presented the plans to the MARTA consulting engineers - 30 years ago. Here's what I saw of Peachtree Center:
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1647739
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1647744

My boss and I checked out the connector track between E/W and N/S lines at Georgia State station:
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=1647748

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Re: Atlanta MARTA heavy rail rapid transit system

Post by superbad » Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:06 pm

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 869&nseq=6

anybody know the deal about this? where was it going? scrap?

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Re: Atlanta MARTA heavy rail rapid transit system

Post by JamesT4 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:07 am

No not Scrapped

Marta had 218 of there oldest cars rehabbed, and rebuilt by Alstom in New York, and shipped by truck like this, and given a new paint job.

It started in 2005/2006 time frame, and gotten the last two cars back in February of 2009.

I will be going down to Atlanta in November, and I will be getting photos of them while I am visiting Atlanta, I also have some photos of the cars in the old paint in the link.
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Re: Atlanta, GA: MARTA Heavy Rail

Post by Jeff Smith » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:38 am

Service cuts may be a-coming: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/ma ... uts/nMH5k/
ATLANTA — MARTA is warning of major cuts after an immediate loss in what it had counted on in its operating budget. That’s because state legislators just defeated a bill that would have allowed MARTA to have more flexibility on its spending.

Channel 2's Carol Sbarge went to a Monday meeting where the MARTA board got a grim update on its revenue and costs projected over the next few years.

For three years, MARTA wasn’t required to follow a rule that requires half of the sales tax it collects be spent on operating costs and half on capital improvements. Hopes that the three-year reprieve would be become permanent were dashed when lawmakers said no to such a bill. So, the 50-50 spending rule returns.
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