East End/Green Line (METRORail)

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  East End / Green Line
Overview
Type Light rail/Streetcar[1]
System METRORail
Status Under construction
Locale Houston, Texas
Termini Smith Station (west)
Altic/Howard Hughes Station (east)
Magnolia Transit Center Station (east, planned)
Stations 7 (under construction)
2 (planned)
Operation
Opening April 2015 (planned)[2]
Operator(s) METRO
Character Street running downtown, exclusive right-of-way elsewhere
Technical
Line length 3.3 mi (5.3 km) (when complete)[3]
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification Overhead cantenary
Highest elevation Street level until Altic/Howard Hughes (current eastern terminus)

The East End/Green Line[4] is an under construction 3.3 mi (5.3 km)[3][5] METRORail light rail/streetcar[1] line that will be designed, constructed, and operated by METRO in Houston, Texas. The first seven-station segment of this line is currently undergoing testing and is expected to open in April 2015.[2][6] The two-station eastern end of this route has been delayed, and is not expected to open before 2016, at the earliest.

Route[edit]

The East End/Green Line begins at its northern terminus at Smith Street Station, which is also a part of the Southeast/Purple Line, but is shared between the two lines to provide transfers. In downtown, the northbound track will run along Capitol Street, while its southbound counterpart will run down Rusk Street. Both of these downtown sections involve street running in mixed traffic like a traditional streetcar line.[1] Four of the line's stations will be in downtown with stops at Smith, Main, Fannin, and Crawford. Transfers to the Red Line will occur at the Fannin Station. Before crossing US 59 the 2 tracks converge to run together on Texas into the East End. From here, both lines run to EaDo/Stadium Station just east of downtown. This station is shared with the Southeast/Purple Line to allow transfer between the two lines, and to provide access to the BBVA Compass Stadium, where the Houston Dynamo soccer team plays. East of EaDo/Stadium Station, the East End/Green Line and the Southeast/Purple Line diverge, with the Southeast Line turning south, while the East End Line continues east.

Traveling eastward, the line continues on Harrisburg for its entire duration, making stops at York, Lockwood, and Altic/Howard Hughes Station, the line's current eastern terminus.

In the future, a six-block long bridge will carry the line over freight rail tracks located on Harrisburg and Hughes, continuing onward to César Chávez/67th Street Station, with the eastern terminus at the Magnolia Transit Center. This portion of the East End/Green Line is currently in the planning stages.

Construction[edit]

Phase I of construction was due to be completed by spring 2012, with Phase II scheduled to be complete by summer 2012,[7] and a planned opening in 2013 or 2014. By fall 2010, it became clear that a late 2013 opening was impossible, and the line would not open until late 2014.[8]

Problems with non-MetroRAIL construction projects downtown, as well as with the axle-counters used to regulate light rail traffic, subsequently pushed back the opening of the line to April 2015.[2]

Opposition to east end of line[edit]

As early as about a month after construction began for this line, it was reported that there opposition existed to this line, particularly because of the installation of the six-block long bridge meant to avoid the freight railroad at the east end of the line.[9] Further opposition to this line arose when area resident began to notice a loss in business in areas where construction was taking place.[10] Subsequently, Metro decided to build the western portion of the line in the meantime, while the construction of the portion of the line between Altic/Howard Hughes Station and Magnolia Transit Center Station was deferred.

An overpass segment meant to avoid the freight railroad track and to complete the line between Altic/Howard Hughes Station and Magnolia Transit Center is likely to take at least two to three years to complete, and is only in the planning states as of 2014.[11][12][13]

Stations[edit]

The following is a list of planned stations for the East End Line, listed in order from west to east:[14]

East End/Green Line
Theater District
Central Station Main*
Convention District
EaDo/Stadium**
Coffee Plant/Second Ward
Lockwood/Eastwood
Altic/Howard Hughes
César Chávez/67th Street (planned)
Magnolia Park (planned)

*Note: Station shared with Red Line to provide transfers between the two lines

**Note: Station shared with Southeast/Purple Line to provide transfers between the two lines

Expansion[edit]

A possible expansion for the line would bring it south from the Magnolia Transit Center to converge with the Southeast/Purple Line at a station yet to be named, and moving along the same right-of-way to Hobby Airport.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Station Guide Downtown" (pdf). METRORail. March 7, 2014. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  2. ^ a b c "Construction Issues Prompt New April 2015 Rail Opening Date" (Press release). Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Metro). September 25, 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  3. ^ a b "East End Line (landing page)". METRORail. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  4. ^ "East End Line". METRORail. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  5. ^ Abrahams, Tom (April 16, 2010). "East End light rail reaches milestone". KTRK-TV ABC13. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  6. ^ Begley, Dug (September 17, 2014). "More trouble for rail lines as opening pushed to next year". Houston Chronicle (Hearst Newspapers, LLC.). Retrieved 2015-01-14. 
  7. ^ "Construction Schedule". METRORail. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  8. ^ "Rail Lines Will Not Meet Oct. 2013 Deadline". KRIV (FOX 26 Houston). September 9, 2010. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  9. ^ "East End residents angered over Metro's plans to build bridge". KHOU 11CBS. October 22, 2009. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  10. ^ Cisneros, Cynthia (August 23, 2010). "East-end light rail construction faces opposition". KTRK-TV ABC13. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  11. ^ Delaughter, Gail (May 21, 2014). "Major Decision Expected On East End Light Rail Project". Houston Public Media. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  12. ^ Begley, Dug (May 22, 2014). "Metro rejects pleas for delay, proceeds with East End overpass plan". Houston Chronicle (Hearst Newspapers, LLC.). Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  13. ^ Delaughter, Gail (July 2, 2014). "Metro Unveils Preliminary Designs For East End Overpass". Houston Public Media. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  14. ^ "East End Line [map]" (PDF). METRORail. March 27, 2012. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  15. ^ http://www.city-data.com/forum/houston/992322-metro-light-rail.html

External links[edit]