RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.
Todd's Railfan Guide to
Map of the Light Rail and Metro Systems
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The map below shows the two rail transit systems Baltimore employs for movin' people around. When they put in the Metro system in the early 80's, I don't think Light Rail was on their minds. Then, when the Light Rail system was finally opened in 1990, they had done it on a budget and did not include an easy way to transfer between the two systems. A big mistake.
Both systems have been long criticized for one thing or another, but mostly for not putting the things where they would be of most benefit to the riding public. The choice for the Light Rail system was made on the availability of existing freight railroad right-of-ways, basically taking them over by claiming imminent domain. That move pretty much spelled doom for the two freight operations on the Baltimore & Annapolis RR (on the south end), and Conrail (then Norfolk Southern) on the "top" side.
Now, enter the 2009-2011 timeframe, and the MTA announced and is proceeding with plans to build yet another unconnected E/W light rail system (The RED line) that will tear up Baltimore to construct, and not connect in any convenient manner to either of the existing systems. I know one should not allow personal opinion be known on pages like this, but I can't help myself.... What is wrong with the people running the MTA? If they can "re-design" bus routes to take advantage of Light and Heavy Rail stops, then why can't they do the same when designing the rail system so people have a reason to abandon their cars?
Please Guys - Make the system user friendly!
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while trying to help others. My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place. There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages. Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like. I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion). If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them. For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names. Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations. I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area. Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them. Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature. While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a
thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only
get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented. Take
along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still
better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts
out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their
state maps do not have the railroads on them. If you can find em,
I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and
concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where
tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.
Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.
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Last Modified: 06/27/2014