Single-tracking on Purple Line? Go figure
Where the proposed Purple Line from New Carrollton to Bethesda is concerned, Getting There can be a detached observer. We're all about One Maryland, and we wish the Washington suburbs well iin their transit aspirations, but it's not our backyard.
Nevertheless it caught our eyes when we read on Gazette.net that a Montgomery County councilman, Roger Berliner, is actually pushing consideration of a single-tracking scheme on the proposed light rail line to save a few trees and appease critics of the project.
One has to wonder whether Berliner has any idea of the operational nightmares single-tracking brings. Certainly Baltimore knows all about the joys of single-tracking, which plagued our existing light rail system for the first 15 years of its existence. Earth to Berliner: Any single-tracked system will bring delays, shutdowns and inefficiency from the get-go and will eventually require a shutdown of that section of the system to correct the error at a cost of hundreds of millions more than it would to do it right the first time. That's what happened in Baltimore, and that's what would happen in Montgomery County.
Hey, if Berliner wants to oppose the Purple Line outright, that's a defensible choice. But building it with single-tracking where it can be avoided is a waste of money that comes from all Maryland taxpayers. If this goofy idea goes through, the Maryland Transit Administration might as well put the entire project on the back burner and turn its attention to Baltimore's transit needs.