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MD: Purple Line Safe, Red Line Cancelled (Was: Purple and Red Lines Sa


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#1 Ryan

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 11:06 AM

http://www.baltimore...0122-story.html

Two controversial transportation projects - the Red Line in Baltimore and the Purple Line in the Washington suburbs - survived the chopping block, but Hogan said he was still deciding whether to move forward with them.


Not bad, in the face of a statewide 2% CUT ALL THE THINGS budget. Real well thought out there, I'm sure.

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#2 Ryan

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 06:23 PM

Purple line "safe" (provided they can make it still cheaper and foist more of the cost off on Montgomery and PG counties):

http://www.washingto...ad8a_story.html

Red line: Tabled.

I'm not thrilled, but hopefully the next governor will be able to unscrew the mess that Hogan's making. Maybe Montgomery and PG Counties can stop sending their money to the panhandle and the shore to pick up their increased share of the tab.
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#3 MARC Rider

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 06:34 PM

I know, they should build the Red line as a maglev and have the Japanese pay for it.

:)

#4 afigg

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 03:54 PM

I did not post earlier when the news that Hogan was going ahead with the Purple Line LRT, but canceling the Baltimore Red Line LRT, in part because it was a depressing result and a huge setback for a decent connected transit system in Baltimore. Since then, the Hogan administration has proceeded to shut down the Red Line project entirely, close the offices, drop the BaltimoreRedLine.com website, put the documents and plans into storage. Hogan's comments and actions to shift funds to road projects since the Red Line cancellation have demonstrated that he does not understand the value of a good transit system to a city and its economic vitality. He complained that the Red Line tunnel through downtown Baltimore was too expensive and then turns around and comments on how few people ride the slow street running isolated N-S light rail line. Simply doesn't get it. I hope for Baltimore's sake, that Hogan is a one term Governor. 

 

I think the only reason Hogan went ahead with the Purple Line (PL) was due to the intense pressure brought by its backers, many of whom are politically connected Republican leaning developers, and that it is going to run in a more suburban setting. The ridership projections for the PL have a better foundation than the Baltimore Red Line because the PL will connect to the DC Metro at 4 stops and runs through the University of Maryland campus which will be a huge ridership generator. The proposed cuts to the PL design and scope to reduce costs are worrying, but most of them appear to be minor or cuts that can be fixed or corrected later.

 

The reason I'm posting is that there is news on the contract award schedule plans for the PL. Washington Post: Purple Line design and construction could begin May 16, state says.

 

Maryland transportation officials plan to choose a winning bid to design, build and operate a light-rail Purple Line by Jan. 15, and bidders should assume design and construction work could begin May 16, according to new bid solicitation documents released this week.

 

The dates included in a revised 2,075-page “request for proposals” sent to bidders Wednesday provides the most detailed project schedule since Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ® announced June 25 that the state would build the 16-mile light-rail line if the state paid less, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties paid more, and the overall project was less costly.

I will be surprised if MD makes either date, but hopefully the project won't slip too much further.

 

The Greater Greater Washington blog posted a discussion with potential Metro maps about will the PL be incorporated into the WMATA Metro map. I'm sure it will be, but that decision is mainly up to the WMATA board with representatives from MD, DC, VA.  Tweaking the layout of the current Metro map will necessary to fit in the PL, but it is not that hard to do.  GGW: Will the Purple Line appear on the Metro map?  Lots of comments on the blog, some thoughtful, some not so much.

 

The possible map/diagram that i think is pretty good has a thin PL with smaller station labels to flag it as light rail and not a directly connected part of the DC Metro system is this one: expanded PNG image link.  Although the proposed map needs tweaks to the station label placement and details, it includes Phase 2 of the Silver Line (scheduled for completion in 2019) and the Potomac Yard in-fill station which could open in 2018. Shows a substantial and extensive Metro transit system for a US city that is not NYC.

 

BTW, perhaps this thread should be re-titled to reflect the course of events. How about: MD: Purple Line LRT survives, Baltimore Red Line canceled. 



#5 Anderson

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 05:15 AM

afigg: So renamed.

Also, I like the "thin line" approach to the Purple Line (seems like a good way to integrate it on the chart.


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#6 afigg

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 04:15 PM

Good news for the Purple Line light rail project. Gov. Hogan has approved the selection of the Purple Line Transit Partners group to build and operate the line. The projected completion date has slipped to Spring 2022.

Washington Post: Maryland chooses private team to build, operate light-rail Purple Line.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ® announced Wednesday that the state has chosen a team of private companies to build, operate and maintain a light-rail Purple Line in the Washington suburbs for $3.3 billion over 36 years.

 

Under the winning bid — proposed by the team Purple Line Transit Partners and led by construction giant Fluor Enterprises Inc. — six years of construction would begin late this year, and the 16-mile line would open to service by spring 2022.

....

Purple Line Transit Partners is led by three companies: Fluor, Meridiam, and Star America. All three have pledged to invest money in the project and manage it long-term. Rahn said the private team would finance about $1 billion of the line’s construction costs.

 

Experts say such arrangements ensure that the private sector shares in the financial risks because the companies have an incentive to build the rail line within budget and open it to revenue service on time. Public-private partnerships, if structured correctly, also encourage the private team to design and build a quality project that will be cost-efficient to operate and maintain long-term, experts say.

 

Fluor would be the most extensively involved, from investing money to overseeing design, construction, operations and maintenance. Fluor says it is the largest publicly traded engineering and construction company in the United States.

 

CAF in Elmira, NY will build the cars. Hopefully they won't be anywhere nearly as late as they have been with the Viewliner II contract.

 



#7 Eric S

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 05:36 PM

Hasn't CAF also struggled or been late in delivering light rail vehicles to Houston and streetcars to Cincinnati and Kansas City?

 

EDIT: Yes, here's a Washington Post article from a few weeks ago (Feb 18, 2016) that mentions the Cincinnati, Houston, and Kansas City delays and talks about problems with CAF-built Washington Metrorail cars.

 

Not too encouraging, especially combined with the Viewliner II issues (debacle?).



#8 afigg

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 05:07 PM

Hasn't CAF also struggled or been late in delivering light rail vehicles to Houston and streetcars to Cincinnati and Kansas City?

 

EDIT: Yes, here's a Washington Post article from a few weeks ago (Feb 18, 2016) that mentions the Cincinnati, Houston, and Kansas City delays and talks about problems with CAF-built Washington Metrorail cars.

 

Not too encouraging, especially combined with the Viewliner II issues (debacle?).

The spring of 2022 is 6 years away, so CAF should have plenty to time to build the light rail vehicles for the Purple Line. Since the line will need enough cars to operate at day one of revenue service, CAF will likely have to start delivering vehicles by early 2021 for both vehicle and system testing & training and to build up the fleet size prior to start of service. Since this is a private consortium that has a lot at stake to meet the deadlines for starting revenue service, they will lean on CAF to keep to its delivery schedule. We got 6 long years to see what happens.



#9 afigg

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Posted 06 April 2016 - 04:00 PM

The next contract award process step for the Purple Line is done. Washington Post: Maryland board approves $5.6-billion Purple Line contract. Excerpts:

 

Maryland’s Board of Public Works approved a $5.6 billion contract Wednesday for a team of companies to build and operate a light-rail Purple Line in the Washington suburbs.

 

The board voted 3-0 after a 30-minute discussion

.......

However, Maryland transportation officials said the contract needed approval Wednesday to keep the deal on schedule to reach financial close June 2. A later vote, they said, could jeopardize the 180-day financing approvals that a team of companies received to help pay for the line’s construction, state officials say.

 

With the board’s approval of the contract with the private team Purple Line Transit Partners, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) will now seek to finalize a “full funding grant agreement” with the Federal Transit Administration. That would secure $900 million in recommended federal construction grants and would allow construction to begin later this year. The light-rail line would open to passengers by March 2022, according to the contract.

 



#10 afigg

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 05:07 PM

News updates on the Purple Line. In short, the financing is in place including a $875 million TIFIA loan and the contracts have been signed. So the design-build stage of the project should be underway.

 

Railway Age: Maryland Purple Line closes financial deal

Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and Purple Line Transit Partners, have signed the final financial documents for a $5.6 billion PPP contract to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the light rail Purple Line north of Washington DC.

Purple Line Transit Partners comprises Meridiam as a 70% equity provider, with Fluor Enterprises and Star America each providing 15% of the equity. 

.....

The 26km east-west Purple Line will run from Bethesda to New Carrollton serving suburbs inside the Capital Beltway north of Washington DC. The 21-station line will connect four branches of the Washington Metro, three commuter rail lines, plus Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, and will have 21 stations. The line will have a mixture of dedicated rights-of-way and street running. Passenger services are due to begin operating in early 2022.

 

 

Railway Gazette: CAF awarded Maryland Purple Line LRV contract

USA: CAF has been awarded a contract to supply 26 five-section light rail vehicles for the Purple Line project in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC.

The contract announced by CAF on June 28 is to be managed by its CAF USA subsidiary, which will manufacture the LRVs at its plant in Elmira, New York. The contract is worth more than US$200m and includes spare parts, tools and test equipment.

 

Hope the CAF production of the LRVs for the Purple Line goes better than the Viewliner II order from Amtrak.  :huh:



#11 afigg

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 10:31 PM

Reviving an old thread...

 

The Maryland Purple Line project, after a year long delay due to a Federal judge, had a public ground breaking ceremony for start of construction on Monday, August 28, 2017. The judge came damn close to killing the project, but it managed to survive and get the critical federal funding from the Trump administration DOT.  There has been a year long saga of the judge vacating the federal approval and court battles that I won't get into, except to note the delay, after umpteen years of studies, more studies, design, and getting the light rail line approved and funded shows just how damn difficult it is to build transit systems in the US.

 

Bethesda Beat with videos, photos, and backstory for today's kick-off event: Officials Break Ground on Long-Awaited Purple Line Project; Construction Immediately Starts.

 

Maryland DOT proceeded with property acquisition and some utility relocation projects from what I understand during the year long delay, so some progress was made while the judge stalled the project.

 

Some excerpts from the article:

 

Hogan and U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao participated in a ceremonial signing of the project’s federal full funding grant agreement. The signed grant will enable the state to access the $900 million in federal funds proposed for the project—including $325 million already appropriated for it.

......

The 16.2-mile rail line is project to be completed in 2022. It will stretch along an east-west route from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County and include 21 stations—10 in Montgomery and 11 in Prince George’s.

Before the judge stalled the Purple Line project, it had a 2021 completion and start of service projected date.

 

How long has the project been in the works? Long enough to grow up and have kids...

Gov. William Donald Schaefer first pitched a transit project on the former CSX rail right-of-way in southern Montgomery County in 1989 and it was further developed by Gov. Parris Glendening. In the mid-2000s, Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich studied whether to turn it into a bus route. After beating Ehrlich in 2006, Gov. Martin O’Malley fought for the light-rail line and budgeted funds for it during his administration.

 

Since then, the line has overcome opposition from Columbia Country Club and the Town of Chevy Chase. The light-rail line will run through the club and next to the town along the current site of the Georgetown Branch Trail.

 

"We made it," Senator Chris Van Hollen said at the groundbreaking. "It's been like a long-distance relay run with one administration after another passing the baton to the next."

 






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