The Nats refreshed the team’s uniforms several years ago. I personally feel the set has been a success for the most part, but also could be improved in some ways. How do you feel about them? Do you see any enhancements/additions in the future, or are you content with this set?
“It’s funny, now anywhere I travel I run into folks wearing Nationals team merchandise – Curly W caps, jerseys, T-shirts. I think we have developed a pretty popular logo and brand. We are open to alternate designs down the line, but currently we are sticking with what is proving to be popular.”
Can we have the interlocking “DC” return as a home/away alternate and is it possible to sell the uniforms and caps with the interlocking “DC” logo in the team store?
“We are open to alternate designs, but don’t have any current plans to change the uniforms next season. I’ll share your request for the interlocking DC logo to be made available in our stores with the retail team!”
Why won’t the Nationals pay to have Metro run late for evening games?
We’ve consistently said that as a world-class city – and the Nation’s Capital – D.C. needs to have a world-class public transportation system and that includes an extended hours schedule like every other major American city. Currently our fans contribute millions of dollars and thousands of hours a year to WMATA traveling to and from games during our 81 home games. That usage should be reflected in extended hours.
Lerner isn’t wrong that DC should have world-class public transportation but spending $29,000 on a deposit (which would be refunded by usage) would serve fans who want to know they can go to the whole game and stay home.
Yes, #wmata should be a world-class service – but it's not. So do like the rest of us riders, #NATS: deal with it till it is.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Since they went into service, I have been eager to get my first ride on the new 7000 series Metro cars. Actually, I’ve wanted to do that since I saw this 2012 video of the prototype. They recently debuted on the beleaguered Blue Line in and thus far I had only seen one going the opposite way at Pentagon, though I had seen it prior to revenue service going down the Red Line through NoMa. Had one come through during my morning commute, I would have been tempted to jump on it instead of my normal Yellow Line train to Gallery Place.
On Monday, the second 7000 series train began service on the Red Line. I had some ambition of catching it, but due to delays on the bus to Pentagon and Yellow Line, I did not get to Gallery Place in time. In the afternoon, I saw it arrive on the platform at NoMa, but could not get to it before the doors closed.
Yesterday, afternoon though, I was able to catch it. When I saw there was an 8-car train coming next, I waited in the hope it’d be a new one. When I saw the black face of the train coming down the hill from Rhode Island Ave. station, I knew my wait would be rewarded.
What’s initially striking about the 7000 series is the lack of livery on the exterior. The little branding it has is the Metro logo in white-on-silver with pixels which seems like 2003 design. It’s underwhelming aesthetically, but that’s apparently the point. Changing that from white to black would probably go a long way in improving the look of the train. That’s really low on WMATA priorities right now.
Sorry about the white balance, stinkin’ refurbed droid
Inside, the train feels much larger than the traditional Metro car. The seats are sleeker with metal instead of plastic and smaller, blue cushions. There is more “air” in this design. Also, smartly, the seating arrangement in the front and back of the car between the end and the doors has three seats against the wall instead of two pairs in rows. That should improve flow at stations.
The cars have improved information with a screen showing the system map, other information and presumably, advertising.
Another map, similar to ones on the New York subway, is specifically for the line with the next six stops listed and then the last 5 stops.
The audio is different than the current cars with all announcements from a recording instead of the operator. The “doors closing” tone is also different and sadly not the old school ding from the 1990s.
Performance is certainly improved over the manual operation riders have been accustomed to since the 2009 crash. Looking inside the driver area, I could not determine if the new controls allow for more subtle manual operation than the first six generations of Metro cars. I certainly hope so, but at least for the time being, the 7000 series will travel as 8-car trains under automatic train control (ATC). The performance of ATC is much better than the manual.
The 7000 series is a sliver of hope in a dark time for WMATA. The daily breakdowns, congestion on the Blue Line in particular and January arching incident that killed an Alexandria woman near L’Enfant Plaza are making it hard for even the staunchest Metro cheerleaders to defend the agency. The detractors are getting the “I told you so’s” in and politicians sympathetic to that point of view are getting elected and Congress isn’t happy. The House wants a $50 million funding cut (DCist) too, something I saw referred to as “the beatings will continue until morale improves.”
What is lost in this is that building a 100+ mile subway system in this region is an unprecedented achievement that is being taken for granted. Seeing this bold experiment, conceived and built at a time where the automobile was king and required regional cooperation between 2 disparate states, a large city with limited autonomy and the federal government, struggle so much is disheartening. The agency, the unions, local, state and federal governments need to remember the past and rededicate themselves so that these shiny new rail cars are more than just prettier places to be stuck in.
Saturday afternoon was a big day for transportation in Northern Virginia and greater Washington, D.C. – the first phase of the Silver Line opened between Whiele Ave-Reston and East Falls Church. Five new stations, including four in Tysons, one of the largest office districts in the U.S., are now in service providing greater connectivity for the entire Washington, D.C. region.
My family and I rode the first train to Whiele Ave-Reston from Courthouse station in Arlington. We were in the front car which was a little more than half full. Several people were in the very front with their cameras. Other riders took the train only as far as some of the Tysons stops, particularly the Tysons Corner stop which serves the two malls. When the train left the Orange Line tracks for the new Silver Line tracks, there was mild applause.
I jumped out at each of the stops to take a few photos, but with the whole family along, including our 1-month old son taking his first Metro ride, I did not explore. It was interesting to get a new perspective on the familiar Tysons area from the elevated tracks. The best view of the Tysons skyline is on the big curve from the media of the Dulles Access Road to VA 123.
At the Whiele Ave-Reston East terminus, there was a celebration hosted by Comstock. VIPs got to go indoors, while the public was entertained by a DJ playing a bunch of music that came out when I was in middle school. We had a quick picnic there anyway, before returning to the platform to take the Silver Line back to Courthouse.
The ride was smooth, though not as fast as I would have thought, particularly on the return trip.
Rail to Tysons (and eventually Dulles Airport) was something I wondered if would ever happen. Like baseball in D.C., it made a lot of sense, but there were obstacles to getting there. Increased Metro service is a bigger deal than baseball, but the absence of both for most of my life was frustrating.
George Mason University history professor Zachary Schrag (Q & A: The Great Society Subway) made the case in his outstanding book, The Great Society Subway, that Metro should have been built to Tysons rather than Vienna all along. Instead, the Orange Line was built through the median of Interstate 66 all the way past the Nutley Street interchange. Though recent development, mostly in the form of low-rise apartments has come to the Orange Line corridor outside the Capital Beltway, the primary role of that Metro Line is as suburb to city, commuter rail, rather than an intraurban subway. Ultimately, the Silver Line will do the same though. The increasingly urbanized Tysons Corner and its four stations will be the only ones, with the exception of the Dulles Airport station, that are not within the median of the Dulles Toll Road. The commuter rail/subway hybrid has always been a compromise to maximize the constituency (and funding partners) of Metro.
Getting this far with the Silver Line has been messy and expensive. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority struck a deal with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the federal government to build the Silver Line in exchange for taking over the Dulles Toll Road. Much of the funding (too much), is coming out of automobile tolls. Some subsidy from motorists is appropriate, but perhaps a comparatively token fee, such as a $1 a ticket, passed along to Dulles Airport flyers would have been more helpful. The partnership between two public authorities MWAA and Washignton Metropolitan Transit Authority isn’t ideal and this will never be a great deal, but as the saying goes, at least it got built.
The Silver Line has also created a squeeze at the Rosslyn tunnel which has cut into Blue Line service. I ride the Blue Line several times a week, but I have found it to be manageable, albiet more crowded. Come September, it could get very crowded. Optimization of the Rosslyn tunnels is an urgent need and long-term, more tubes under the Potomac is also needed. That will be another 15-25 years, I’m afraid.
Building the Tysons portion above ground rather than below it is a flawed decision, but at a certain point, the attitude of “at least it got built” wins out again. I don’t mind the views, but this was pennywise and pound-foolish. Will it hold back Tysons development? Probably not, Chicago seems to do fine with elevated trains and locally, Silver Spring and Alexandria have strong transit oriented development near above ground Metro lines.
If the Silver Line is to succeed, it will be in spite of its builder, not because of it.
That’s quite a journey nonetheless. The current Metro rail system is over 103 miles long with 86 stations. It can probably be done with a little luck and on a Friday when the system is open from 5 a.m. until 2 a.m. the next morning. That is until the Silver Line opens. We hope.
I like living in an area where the subway system is too big to clinch in day.