Metro (WMATA)

Plan Would Connect DC Regional Rail Network

NBC Universal, Inc.

An ambitious plan to better connect the train networks in the D.C. region was released Thursday.

Leaders envision a system that would let riders travel between Virginia, D.C. and Maryland without having to transfer.

The Greater Washington Partnership, which is leading the effort, is making the case that the entire region’s rail systems should more or less be one unit instead of broken into pieces.

“A key obstacle will be funding, but funding is an obstacle for every project,” said Joe McAndrew of the Greater Washington Partnership. “It can be addressed.”

An estimated $23 billion would be needed.

This kind of cross-border service known as run-through service has been talked about for decades, but transportation leaders in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are all now said to be on board, and major changes could be made over the next 25 years.

Other notable rail changes were discussed Thursday, including new Metrorail cars. The 8000 series railcars are being ordered and are expected to be the most high-tech to date.

“Between the screens and what you can do now and what you’ll be able to do,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said. “Remember, these cars aren’t coming online for almost three years, so you can imagine the technology advancements.”

This plan also calls for more frequent service and longer hours for trains in the area.

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