Fantasy Metro/Subway for Norfolk, VA – Part 2

I have two small updates for my fantasy subway project that I’m doing on Google Maps that revolves around the Hampton Roads, VA area. The first update consists of the addition of five tramway (light rail) lines throughout Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Portsmouth. I will briefly go through where each of the lines travel to. You can view the map here.

  • Tramway 1 (T1) travels from Naval Station Norfolk, through downtown Norfolk, and towards Virginia Beach. A portion of this line comprises of the existing Tide Light Rail line.
  • Tramway 2 (T2) travels from downtown Norfolk towards Suffolk via Chesapeake.
  • Tramway 3 (T3) is a semi-loop line that travels from Portsmouth through the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Oakleaf Forest, Fairmont Park, and into Naval Station Norfolk from the east.
  • Tramway 4 (T4) runs from Portsmouth into Suffolk. An extension is planned to go into downtown Norfolk, but it has been a challenge. ~ In reality, it would be a challenge connecting Portsmouth to Norfolk via LRT due to the Elizabeth River being quite large. I have to ask myself if a new tunnel would have to be built.
  • Tramway 5 (T5) connects the Lynhaven Bay area to downtown Norfolk via the airport.

I will likely make more changes to the LRT lines later. I now realize that T5 could really be a part of T3, but I’m not sure whether to merge the lines. And you may notice how I number each of the LRT lines. The naming/numbering convention used is similar to how the LRT lines are numbered in Paris, France.

My second update is a stand-alone map of the Line 7A subway. Since it is the smallest subway line, I thought I would make an individual line map of Line 7A first. Line 7A basically runs along the beltway that partially surrounds Suffolk. Originally, it was part of Line 7 when it terminated at Holland Rd. However, when Line 7 was extended towards the outer fringe town of Courtland, a bypass tunnel was built along Holland Rd to facilitate quicker service into Norfolk. Thus, the original beltway line was made independent. You can view a map of Line 7A here.

I want to stress that these are just fantasy systems, just like the Mushroom Kingdom transit system. There are actual efforts to try and extend the existing LRT line in Norfolk towards Naval Station Norfolk, as well as Virginia Beach and Portsmouth. However, I am not sure if the proposed extensions will ever make it out of the planning books. It sure would be nice to have a neat network of light rail lines, as well as BRT lines throughout Hampton Roads.

If you want to share any comments, or have questions, feel free to drop me a line via the Contact page.


Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012

HART MetroRapid – Part 2

With HART’s MetroRapid System inching closer to completion, I thought I would take a moment to share a few things that have been happening in regards to the construction of the system.

First, and foremost, I’d like to mention again about the buses. As of November 29, 2012, eight out of twelve MetroRapid buses have been delivered. As I mentioned before; these buses are similar to that of the 25XX buses (but with a standard front). The interior is similar to the 10XX buses, but with a different livery for the seating cushions. Additionally, there are a few new features that will be noticeable to HART operators.

HART recently announced that they are putting the new buses on the road in order to test out the transit signal prioritization system that has been put into place along the MetroRapid corridor. Although many bay area intersections are being upgraded to include this system, it plays a very crucial role in the operation of MetroRapid because the MetroRapid buses will have the ability to lengthen green light cycles and shorten red light cycles as need-be. Additionally, this time frame will be used to promote the MetroRapid system and train operators on using the new buses. So be sure to look out for the buses!

If you want to see one of the MetroRapid buses from the operator’s perspective, Yo Bus Driver has a Youtube video that you can watch.

Secondly, HART also recently mentioned that the station canopies for the MetroRapid system are currently being constructed, with the first canopy installed recently at the University Area Transit Center near USF. Unlike the traditional green bus shelters that you’re used to seeing, the new MetroRapid canopies will utilize a sleek, modern design and silver and light green tones. Many canopies will be equipped with ticket vending machines and most (if not all) will be equipped with bike racks and information screens displaying arrival times of the next bus.

If you’ve seen the renderings of all of the elements that are put together for the MetroRapid stations, then you already know how awesome they look!

I hope to be able to get some photos of the MetroRapid buses, as well as other snapshots of the HART system real soon. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had the chance to do anything significant for my blog, nor reopen my Tampa Bay Transit site as originally planned. I know that some of my readers may be in a not-so-happy mood because of all of the delays. I do sincerely apologize and hope to get everything back on track with the new year.

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012