• 4 & 6 car Metro Trains

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by Matt'
 
***From the Mod: This thread has been split from the 7k series car thread***

None of the lines operate 4-car trains. Even late at night. I haven't seen a four car train in at least 6 months, and I ride the Metro several times a day. I specifically remember the Washington Post doing a story sometime last year when the last scheduled 4-car train was converted to a 6-car. It was a Yellow Line train. The only reasons that WMATA will operate 4-car trains is if there is a car shortage or there are power problems.
  by WMATAGMOAGH
 
Ben Schumin's blog is down, but I'm pretty sure he has a recent entry saying he witnessed a 6 car train being turned into a 4 car train at Glenmont at the end of rush hour. There are no 4 car trains scheduled for rush hour, but I'm pretty sure they still exist off peak.
  by realtype
 
WMATAGMOAGH wrote:Ben Schumin's blog is down, but I'm pretty sure he has a recent entry saying he witnessed a 6 car train being turned into a 4 car train at Glenmont at the end of rush hour. There are no 4 car trains scheduled for rush hour, but I'm pretty sure they still exist off peak.
That's what I thought. BUt, I think on the Red Line the midday trains were (or are) all 6-car sets, while some of the late night off peak sets were four cars.
Matt' wrote:None of the lines operate 4-car trains. Even late at night. I haven't seen a four car train in at least 6 months, and I ride the Metro several times a day. I specifically remember the Washington Post doing a story sometime last year when the last scheduled 4-car train was converted to a 6-car. It was a Yellow Line train. The only reasons that WMATA will operate 4-car trains is if there is a car shortage or there are power problems.
The Washington Post article was taking about the last rush hour Yellow Line train, being converted to six cars (Yes, unbelievably there were still 4-car rush hour trains on the yellow line). I had sent a e-mail to the WMATA asking why the Red Line hadn't received any 6k cars or 8 car trains, and a rep. calledback and said that the new cars would be used to lengthen rush hour Yellow trains to 6-cars, before adding any more 8 car trains on the Red Line.
  by Matt'
 
I contacted WMATA to answer our train-length question.

According to Steven Taubenkibel, a Metro staffer, all off-peak trains are 6-cars. They currently have no plans to reduce train length due to the budget crisis. During rush hours, seven 8-car trains operate on the Red and Green Line (each) and nine 8-car trains on the Orange Line.
  by realtype
 
Fan Railer wrote:http://wmata.com/about_metro/docs/FY200 ... Budget.pdf
go to page 80.
Well either Mr. Taubenkibel isn't "in the loop" or Metro revised their operations, although the budget is usually pretty accurate (and limiting).The budget seems to support my previously stated observation that the Red Line uses all 6-car trains during the midday, and 4 car trains at night. Even if Metro could, there's no reason for them to operate 6-car trains at 2:30am in the morning on the Yellow Line (or any other line). The ridership just isn't there, even with the 15min headways.
  by Matt'
 
For what it's worth, I agree that late at night Metro need not run 6-car trains. However, Mr. Taubenkibel is the person always quoted in the news, so I'd trust his call.

Also, I ride the Metro every day of the week at least twice daily and I take at least two trains per trip. I'm often out late at night as well, since I'm transit dependent. Except for Thanksgiving Day, I have not seen a 4-car train (not been on one or seen one go by while I waited) in at least 6 months. I am regularly on the Green, Yellow, and Red Lines. Now it is certainly possible that 4-car trains are operating in the system, but I haven't seen one.

Has anyone seen a revenue 4-car train recently?
  by Sand Box John
 
"Matt'"
Has anyone seen a revenue 4-car train recently?


Real Time Arrivals

Check stations at random when it is likely that 4 car train are operation on the railroad.
  by SchuminWeb
 
My Journal is back up thanks to a correction of a glitch related to Internet Exploder.

The Journal entry in question (two, actually) is related to an eight-car train being dropped down to a six at the end of the evening rush hour:

http://www.schuminweb.com/schumin-web/j ... hp?id=1116
http://www.schuminweb.com/schumin-web/j ... hp?id=1123

I've not seen any four car trains on any line in a looooooooooong time.
  by Mirai Zikasu
 
I believe I remember seeing a four-car train up on the board for the Blue Line within the last month or so during the midday off-hours. It was probably due to a problem with a car pair or a train that lost a pair to make up an 8-car set for the P.M. rush hour. They're certainly rare nowadays, but I would fathom that an oddball pops up every now and then.
  by WMATAGMOAGH
 
6 car trains only showing up on PIMS right now (11:30 PM 3/3) for Metro Center and L'Enfant Plaza
  by HokieNav
 
Also worth noting that PIMS isn't 100% accurate - I've seen 2 and 4 car trains listed on rare occasions that when the train arrived were actually 6 cars long.

I'm sure it's rare, but I wouldn't count seeing it online as definitive proof of 2 or 4 car length.
  by Mirai Zikasu
 
Really? You've actually seen the PIMS list 2-car trains? I've seen the PIMS list an 8-car train that shows up with 6 cars (or visa-versa; I can't remember), and I've seen a train listed as "No Passenger" show up in service once or twice, but I've never seen anything like that. Also, I'm fairly certain that I did see a 4-car train show up either on that occasion or a similar one.
  by WMATAGMOAGH
 
I've seen PIMS show 2 car trains arriving that end up being normal length (more often than not when this happens in my experieince, the real train is an 8 car train). 4s and 6s tend to be accurate though.
  by HokieNav
 
Sure have - I've cut way back on my Metro use (opting walk the 1.25 miles from Union Station to the Navy Yard), but I'll try and snap a picture the next time I do.

Edit: That didn't take long - about 0655 at Navy Yard. As suspected above, this was an 8 car train when it came along.

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