Posts Tagged ‘train’

Taking the Train: The Most Used Subway Systems in the US and Around the World (Good Magazine)

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

[Editor's note: This chart needs a per capita analysis and comparable accounting of subway milages but is super fun any how. Click image above for larger view, or follow link below. Happy birthday Katie Rose!]

Republished from Good magazine.
Orig pub date: Feb. 17, 2009.

Even though subways are a fuel-efficent way to move people around congested urban areas, Americans make poor use of them, probably because they are poorly funded and often don’t travel where we want to go. Right now, of the five most-used subway systems in the country, only New York City’s attracts as many riders as the five largest foreign subway systems.

A collaboration between GOOD and Robert A. Di Ieso, Jr.

View the original graphic | blog post.

Visualizing Level of Service on Subway Lines (Track 29)

Monday, December 8th, 2008

[Editor's note: Washington DC has the second busiest subway system in the US after New York city. This series of visual diagrams show the network's topology and how to optimize routing to achieve a better level of service (quicker train frequency). Note how the time scale has been reduced to modular 12, easy to understand as a train every 2 to 6 minutes based on the number of colored lines thru each subway station.

DC's metro rail subway is convenient and affordable. But with more people using transit every year, the system is beginning to show signs of strain (heck, it's over 30 years old now!). The federal gov't just gave one of the last nods to construct a new line (dubbed the "Silver") connecting downtown DC to Dulles International Airport and farther out into the exurbs. But this does little to alleviate crowding on the original 5 rail lines .

How to squeeze the most capacity out of existing tunnels and switches? These excellent maps from Track 29 chart the current system and show how it might be tweeked to optimize the flow of passengers from point A to point B primarily on the Orange line, the most overcrowded, where a switching problem reduces train frequency thru the downtown central business district (CBD).]

Republished in part from Track 29.
(They have a much more complete technical discussion.)
First seen at Greater Greater Washington.

The first diagram represents WMATA’s current service pattern during rush hours. Colors represent each of the subway routes. More lines along a colored route represent better (more frequent) service. [Ed: not all stations shown, based on "rush" peak service.]

Based on the 135 second headway, WMATA can run 5 trains through a given segment of track every 12 minutes. Each the diagrams below represents a 12 minute interval during rush hour. Each of the lines on the diagram represents a train in each direction. Therefore, a trackway with two lines (like between Stadium Armory and Largo) represents a headway of 6 minutes–12/2. In other words, you’ll be waiting for a train for up to 6 minues. While on the Red line it would only be 2.5 minutes. [Ed: map seems to undercount Green line service.]

There are several choke points in the system, including at the Roslyn tunnel where the Orange and Blue lines converge and travel under the Potomac River into the District of Columbia.


Click to see larger.

The chief limitation for the Orange Line, as you can see here is the 4 minute headway on the Vienna-Rosslyn segment. Adding one train would reduce headways to 3 minutes and would add a capacity of 1000-1400 passengers for every 12 minute period. Any additional capacity is sorely needed, but the segment of track between Rosslyn and Stadium Armory is essentially at capacity.

Hence the so-called “Blue Line Split.”  Here’s what WMATA is proposing: [Ed: WMATA runs the Metrorail subway in DC.]


Click to see larger.

This results in better service on the Orange line, and equivelent service on the Blue, except for Arlington Cemetary station primarily used by tourists (there are no homes or offices at that station). Many Blue line riders actually need to transfer at Metro Center or L’Enfant stations or get to eastern downtown faster, so this may actually be a boon for them, too.


Click to see larger.

But, while that squeezes extra service, the naming convention of the lines becomes confused. Some propose renaming / rerouting the Blue and Yellow lines like so (below). This map reflects this and planned Silver line service.

Greater Greater DC has a full discussion of adding even more commuter rail service to the nation’s capitol.

Continue reading at Track 29 . . .

Interactive Commuting Time Maps – Find Where to Move (MySociety)

Monday, November 10th, 2008

[Editor's note: This MySociety.org article from 2007 shows how an interactive web map can help users narrow down the best places to live or work based on a home prices ($) and commute times (t) by car, bike, bus, or train. Interactive Flash versions of the maps are after the jump. Thanks Lynda!]

Reprinted from MySociety.org.

In 2006, our late friend and colleague Chris Lightfoot produced a series of time travel contour maps, after the Department for Transport approached mySociety about experimenting with novel ways of re-using public sector data.

This mapping work was very important because it provides a potentially revolutionary new way of working out the best place for people to live and work.

Commuting Time Maps

Following widespread interest across the net and a major feature in the Evening Standard, the Department for Transport asked us to show them how this work could be taken further, and that is what we are showing here today. Get a quote for your map now

Improving legibility and clarity

Many of the maps we produced last time were very pretty, but could be somewhat difficult to interpret. We therefore teamed up with Stamen to improve the visual clarity and fun. Our first approach was to improve the base mapping to something more delicate and appropriate, using OpenStreetMap. We then worked on the colours and textures of the contours to make them quicker to interpret. Click on the images for larger versions.

Old map of London

Showing travel times to work at the Department for Transport in Pimlico, arriving at 9am

Old map of London showing travel times to work at the Department for Transport in Pimlico, arriving at 9am
Click image for bigger version.
© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Department for Transport 100020237 2007

New map of London

Showing travel times to work at the Department for Transport in Pimlico, arriving at 9am

New map of London showing travel times to work at the Department for Transport in Pimlico, arriving at 9am

Click image for bigger version.

(more…)

iPhone Software 2.2 to add public transit & walking directions (AppleInsider)

Friday, November 7th, 2008

[Editor's note: The next version of Apple's iPhone software will not only introduce Street Views to the handset's Maps application, but also provide bus, train and walking directions, a series of new photos reveal.]

Reprinted from AppleInsider.com. By Sam Oliver. Published: 02:00 PM EST October 25th, 2008.

Public Transit Directions

iPhoneYap has posted an extensive screenshot gallery from iPhone Software 2.2 beta 2, released Friday, which offers a walkthrough and detailed descriptions of the new features.

When set in Directions mode, Maps now offers three icons — car, public transit, and walking — centered at the top of screen, in between the “Edit” and “Start” buttons. Selecting the transit icon provides a list of transit choices that can include subways, buses, or a combination of the two.

A list of departure times and estimated commute times accompany each transit option. Once you select a particular method of transit, the Maps application will serve up step-by-step directions from your current location, usually directing you to your chosen departure subway or bus stop on foot. During commutes, Maps will specify when you should board or disembark from a bus or train.

Screenshots of iPhone 2.2 beta 2 showing public transit directions | Source: iPhoneYap.com

Street View

Meanwhile, Street views on the iPhone will let you view street-level photographs, just as they would at maps.google.com. To activate the feature, iPhoneYap reports that you simply need to “drop a pin or click a searched location to get the tooltip to popup from the pin.” The tooltip popup then serves as a gateway to the Street View interface.

Once in Street View, you’ll notice two options in a bar at the top of the screen: “Report” and “Done.” A small navigation circle showing your current location (on a map) overlays each Street View photograph.


Screenshots of iPhone 2.2 beta 2 showing Street Views | Source: iPhoneYap.com

Location Sharing

One final feature noticed in the new version of Maps is location sharing. Selecting the “Share Location” option of an address will auto-fill an email with a hyperlink to the location, which will automatically launch and load in Maps application of the recipient, assuming they too have an iPhone.


Screenshots of iPhone 2.2 beta 2 showing Share Location | Source: iPhoneYap.com

California’s Proposed High-Speed Train System

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

cal train logoThe official site of California’s proposed 800-mile high-speed train system has posted a Flash-based interactive map with videos visualizations and Trip Stats indicating the total distance between legs and how much the trip would take, cost, and how much greenhouse gas (CO2) would be saved (see screenshot below, interact with the Flash map here and the Google Maps version here).

Travel on the high-speed rail link would be significantly faster than by car from southern California to northern (3 hour trip at speeds up to 220 miles per hour) and reduce crowding in the states airports.

This November’s ballot will include a $9.9 billion bond for the initial construction phase ($40 billion total). Building out freeways and airport capacity would cost up to $82 billion. The rail system is expected to run at a profit and not require operating subsidies. It is also expected to jump-start smart urban growth around each of the new rail stations.

Thanks to David Alpert at GreaterGreaterWashington.org.

Continue reading at the Cal Rail site . . .

cal train map