L'Enfant Plaza station

Coordinates: 38°53′05″N 77°01′19″W / 38.884775°N 77.021964°W / 38.884775; -77.021964
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L'Enfant Plaza
Virginia Railway Express
Intersecting vaults above the Yellow Line and Green Line platforms looking south.
General information
Location600 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates38°53′05″N 77°01′19″W / 38.884775°N 77.021964°W / 38.884775; -77.021964
Owned byWashington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Line(s)RF&P Subdivision (VRE station)
Platforms2 side platforms (upper level)
1 island platform (lower level)
1 side platform (VRE)
TracksMetro: 4 (2 upper level, 2 lower level)
RF&P Subdivision: 3
Platform levels2
Bicycle facilitiesCapital Bikeshare
Other information
Station codeF03 (Metro upper level)
D03 (Metro lower level)
Fare zoneZone 1 (VRE)
OpenedJuly 1, 1977 (July 1, 1977) (Metro)
June 22, 1992 (1992-06-22)[1] (VRE)
20224,939 daily[2] (Metro)
Rank7th (Metro)
Preceding station Virginia Railway Express Following station
Crystal City
toward Broad Run
Manassas Line Washington, D.C.
Crystal City Fredericksburg Line
Preceding station Washington Metro Following station
toward Vienna
Orange Line Federal Center SW
toward Ashburn
Silver Line Federal Center SW
Smithsonian Blue Line
toward Huntington
Yellow Line Archives
Waterfront Green Line Archives
toward Greenbelt

L'Enfant Plaza station is an intermodal transit station complex located at L'Enfant Plaza in the Southwest Federal Center neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It consists of an underground Washington Metro rapid transit station and an elevated Virginia Railway Express commuter rail station.

The Metro station, which opened on July 1, 1977, is one of four major interchange stations on the Metro system. It serves five of the six Metro lines: the Green Line and Yellow Line with two side platforms on the upper level; and the Blue Line, Orange Line, and Silver Line with one island platform on the lower level.

The VRE station, which has a single side platform serving the northernmost of the three tracks of the RF&P Subdivision, is served by the Manassas Line and Fredericksburg Line.


Metro station[edit]

The lower level of the Metro station opened on July 1, 1977, as part of the opening of 11.8 miles (19.0 km) of the Blue Line between National Airport and Stadium–Armory.[3] Orange Line service began on November 20, 1978 when the extension to New Carrollton opened.[3] The upper level opened with the opening of the Yellow Line on April 30, 1983; Green Line service began on May 11, 1991.[3] Silver Line service on the lower level began on July 26, 2014.[4][3] The Maryland Avenue entrance will be closed for about seven months beginning on May 9, 2022, for escalator replacement.[5]

L'Enfant Plaza was the setting of a 2007 Pulitzer Prize–winning article by Washington Post reporter Gene Weingarten where world-famous classical violinist Joshua Bell performed outside the station at rush hour disguised as a street musician.[6] On January 12, 2015, smoke appeared in the station during the afternoon rush hour, causing one death.[7] A scene from the 2020 film Wonder Woman 1984 was filmed in the station in June 2018.[8]

VRE station[edit]

The VRE platform, which opened in 1992

The VRE station opened with the Manassas Line on June 22, 1992. The Fredericksburg Line began service on July 20, 1992.[1] L'Enfant is the northern terminus of 40% of trips on VRE.[9] A 2010 city report analyzed options to expand the station, including the potential extension of MARC service from Union Station to L'Enfant or Alexandria.[9] VRE began planning for an expansion of the station in 2021. The existing side platform will be replaced with an island platform to allow for increased service, with a fourth track added.[10]

Station layout[edit]

The 7th Street head house of the Metro station visually echoes the arched roof of the underground station

The station complex is located in the Southwest Federal Center area of Southwest, Washington, DC, centered around the intersection of 7th Street SW and D Street SW. The Metro station has three levels: a fare mezzanine, the Yellow/Green Line upper level with two side platforms, and the Orange/Blue/Silver Line lower level with one island platform. The north-south upper level stretches from C Street to E Street; the east-west lower level stretches from 9th Street to 6th Street. Metro entrances are located at the L'Enfant Plaza shopping mall concourse at 9th and D Streets, on D Street between 6th and 7th Streets, and at Maryland Avenue and 7th Street.[9] Additional head houses may be eventually added.[9]

The VRE platform is located on the north side of the three-track RF&P Subdivision, which is elevated above Virginia Avenue SW between 6th Street and 7th Street. Stairs lead to the station from 6th Street and 7th Street; a ramp leads to the station from C Street west of 7th Street.[9] Most Amtrak intercity trains do not stop at L'Enfant, though several Northeast Regional trains stop for VRE passengers only as part of a ticket cross-honoring agreement.[11]

2F Side platform
Track 1      Manassas Line toward Broad Run (Crystal City)
     Fredericksburg Line toward Spotsylvania (Crystal City)
          Manassas and Fredericksburg lines toward Union Station (Terminus)
          Amtrak and Manassas Line (select trains) do not stop →
Track 2           Amtrak and Manassas Line (select trains) do not stop →
Track 3           Amtrak and Manassas Line (select trains) do not stop →
G Street level Exit/entrance, buses
B1 Metro mezzanine Fare control, ticket machines, station agent
B2 Side platform
Southbound toward Branch Avenue (Waterfront)
toward Huntington (Pentagon)
Northbound toward Greenbelt (Archives)
toward Mount Vernon Square (Archives)
Side platform
B3 Westbound toward Franconia–Springfield (Smithsonian)
toward Vienna (Smithsonian)
toward Ashburn (Smithsonian)
Island platform
Eastbound   toward Downtown Largo (Federal Center SW)
toward New Carrollton (Federal Center SW)


  1. ^ a b Taube, Richard K. (August 11, 2008). "Chronology of the Virginia Railway Express: 1964 to Present" (PDF). Virginia Railway Express. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 17, 2015.
  2. ^ "Rail Ridership Data Viewer". WMATA. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d "Sequence of Metrorail openings" (PDF). Metro Facts 2017. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 2, 2018.
  4. ^ Halsey, Ashley III; Aratani, Lori; Duggan, Paul (July 26, 2014). "All aboard! Metro's new Silver Line rolls down the tracks for the first time". The Washington Post.
  5. ^ "L'Enfant Plaza Escalator Replacement". Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. April 2022.
  6. ^ Weingarten, Gene (April 8, 2007). "Pearls Before Breakfast: Can one of the nation's great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let's find out". Washington Post.
  7. ^ Zauzmer, Julie; Duggan, Paul; Hermann, Peter (January 12, 2015). "One dead after smoke fills Metro station, forcing evacuation". The Washington Post. Washington, DC. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  8. ^ Roussey, Tom (December 28, 2020). "While small details appear wrong, WW84 gets credit for filming at actual DC Metro station". WJLA. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Maryland Avenue Southwest Plan" (PDF). District of Columbia Office of Planning. April 2012. pp. 2–6, 2–8.
  10. ^ "VRE Advancing L'Enfant Station and Fourth Track Expansion, Contributing to Virginia Rail Vision" (Press release). Vanasse Hangen Brustlin. June 1, 2021.
  11. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2017: District of Columbia" (PDF). Amtrak. November 2017.

External links[edit]