• Houston METRORail

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by lpetrich
I'm using the official capitalization here.

Houston METROrail's first line opened in 2004, going 7.5 miles from University of Houston - Downtown south to Fannin South.

It has had an unusually large number of car crashes, about 20 times the average for similar systems by route mile (METRORail - Wikipedia). It is not clear what has been causing them.

However, it is recently being extended, with one line recently opened, two lines under construction, and two lines planned. The opened line is a northward extension of the existing line, going from UH - Downtown 5.3 miles north to the Northline Transit Center. It opened on December 21: New METRO Houston North Line light rail extension to open for business with celebration | abc13.com, New northside light rail line opens with free rides - Houston Chronicle The system map of active lines: Rail Schedule from Houston METRO's site.

System Map at Go METROrail shows the existing lines, the under-construction lines, and the planned lines. What's under construction:
  • Downtown: from Theater District east across the existing line to EaDo/Stadium. It branches there into the next two lines.
  • East End: from EaDo/Stadium 3.3 miles east to Magnolia Park.
  • Southeast: from EaDo/Stadium 6.6 miles southeast to Palm Center.
The East End and Southeast distances might instead be measured from Theater District.

East End Line testing - it should start in January 2014. The other two segments should start testing not long afterward. All three segments should open some time in 2014.

The planned ones await funding for their construction. Here they are:
  • University: from Hillcroft about 10 miles east, crossing the existing line and the Southeast Line, and ending at Eastwood.
  • Uptown: from Bellaire on the University Line about 4 miles north to the Northwest Transit Center.

About commuter rail in Houston, it is still in planning stages. I've found Regional Commuter Rail Connectivity Study, and they are looking at several lines using existing rail lines that radiate out of downtown Houston.
  by Disney Guy
For most of the crashes, it is very clear what the cause was, motorist error.

Classic examples of trying to beat the train to a crossing, specifically make a left turn at a median break.

Actually, in many of the examples, if the motorist had tried harder to beat the train, like put on a bigger burst of speed, he would have successfully beat the train.
  by lpetrich
I'm very slow :( -- Construction Progress
METRO's Green and Purple Lines
Now Open for Business
METRO RAILFEST 2015 on Saturday, May 23, celebrating the grand opening of new rail lines.
The lines opened last year.

The Green (Southeast) and Purple (East End) Lines have some shared track between Theater District, Central Station (also Red Line), and Eado / Stadium. The two lines split, with the Green Line going to Altic / Howard Hughes and eventually to Magnolia Transit Center, and with the Purple Line going to Palm Center Transit Center. Both lines go southeastward from their intersection with the Red Line.

The two planned lines:
University Line Landing Page -- "The University Line project is on hold, pending approval of new funding sources at this time"
Uptown Line Landing Page -- Bus Rapid Transit is being considered for it