L'Enfant Plaza station

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WMATA Metro Logo.svg L'Enfant Plaza Blue Line Orange Line Green Line Yellow Line Silver Line
Washington Metro rapid transit station
VREX commuter rail station ("L'Enfant")
L'Enfant Plaza upper level, facing outbound.jpg
Location 600 Maryland Avenue, Southwest
Washington, D.C. 20024
690 Virginia Avenue SW (VRE)
Owned by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Platforms 2 side platforms (upper level)
1 island platform (lower level)
Tracks 4 (2 upper level, 2 lower level)
Connections Railway line Virginia Railway Express:
at L'Enfant
Bus transport Metrobus: 5A, 52, 74, A9, V1, V5, W9
Bus transport MTA Maryland Commuter Bus
Bus transport Loudoun County Transit
Bus transport OmniRide Commuter
Structure type Underground
Platform levels 2
Disabled access Yes
Other information
Station code F03 (Metro upper level)
D03 (Metro lower level)
Fare zone Zone 1 (VRE)
Opened July 1, 1977; 39 years ago (July 1, 1977) (WMATA)
June 1992; 24 years ago (1992-06)[1][2] (VRE)
Passengers (2016) 20,394 daily [3]Increase 0.13% (Metro)
Preceding station   WMATA Metro Logo.svg Washington Metro   Following station
Blue Line
Green Line
toward Greenbelt
toward Vienna
Orange Line
Silver Line
Yellow Line
Greenbelt-Franconia-Springfield weekdays rush hours service
toward Greenbelt
toward Huntington
Yellow Line
Mount Vernon Square-Huntington weekdays rush hours service
Yellow Line
Not on weekdays rush hours
toward Fort Totten
Virginia Railway Express
toward Broad Run
Manassas Line
toward Spotsylvania
Fredericksburg Line

L'Enfant Plaza is a Washington Metro station in the Southwest Federal Center neighborhood of Washington, D.C., United States. The station was opened on July 1, 1977, and is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). It is a transfer station, with two levels: the upper level has two side platforms and is used by the Green and Yellow Lines, while the lower level has an island platform used by the Blue, Orange, and Silver Lines.[4] It is also where the Yellow and Green lines converge going north. The station serves five out of the system's six lines, serving the most lines out of any station in the system; only the Red Line does not serve the station.

L'Enfant Plaza is the last station in the District on the Yellow Line before crossing the Potomac into Virginia on the 14th Street Bridge.



Sign at the street-level entrance to the Metro station in August 2007

The station is located in Southwest Washington, with entrances 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. It is in the center of an area crowded with federal buildings and is a transfer point allowing passengers to easily cross the Potomac between Virginia and central Washington, making it a very busy station. L'Enfant Plaza is named for the French-American planner of Washington, D.C., Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant.[5]

VRE station[edit]

L'Enfant VRE station

Directly above the Metro station, on Virginia Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets, is the Virginia Railway Express L'Enfant station, which provides commuter rail service both to Fredericksburg and to Manassas Regional Airport in Bristow. Numerous Amtrak trains pass through this station, most without stopping. There is one side platform on the north side of the station with 3 tracks passing through.[6] There are walkways on each side of the station that lead to 6th and 7th Streets respectively.[6]


The station opened on July 1, 1977.[7] Its opening coincided with the completion of 11.8 miles (19.0 km)[8] of rail between National Airport and RFK Stadium and the opening of the Arlington Cemetery, Capitol South, Crystal City, Eastern Market, Farragut West, Federal Center SW, Federal Triangle, Foggy Bottom–GWU, McPherson Square, National Airport, Pentagon, Pentagon City, Potomac Avenue, Rosslyn, Smithsonian and Stadium–Armory stations.[9] Orange Line service to the station began upon the line's opening on November 20, 1978;[10] Yellow Line service to the station began upon the line's opening on April 30, 1983;[11] Green Line service to the station began upon the line's opening on May 11, 1991;[12] and Silver Line service to the station began upon the line's opening on July 26, 2014.[13] This makes the station unique in that the lower level island platform opened before the upper level side platforms.

L'Enfant Plaza was the setting of a 2007 Pulitzer Prize winning article by Washington Post reporter Gene Weingarten. World-famous classical violinist Joshua Bell performed outside the station at rush hour disguised as a street musician. Only seven people stopped to watch him for a minute or more. In total, he made $52.47 performing for 45 minutes, including $20 from the one person who recognized him. Three days earlier, Bell had performed at a concert in Boston where seats started at $100.[14]

On January 12, 2015, smoke began appearing in the station which suspended service at L'Enfant Plaza during the afternoon rush hour. The smoke caused 1 death and 84 people were treated at local hospitals. Green Line and Yellow Line trains were temporarily suspended while Blue Line, Orange Line, and Silver Line trains bypassed L'Enfant Plaza and continued normal service.[15]

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit / Entrance
B1 Mezzanine/VRE station One-way faregates, ticket machines, station agent
Side platform
Westbound Manassas Line toward Broad Run/Airport, Fredericksburg Line toward Fredericksburg (Crystal City)
Manassas Line/Fredericksburg Line toward Union Station (Terminus)
Amtrak does not stop here →
Center track Manassas Line/Fredericksburg Line and Amtrak do not stop here →
Eastbound Manassas Line/Fredericksburg Line and Amtrak do not stop here →
Green/Yellow Line platforms
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Southbound Green Line Green Line toward Branch Avenue (Waterfront)
Yellow Line Yellow Line toward Huntington (Pentagon)
Northbound Green Line Green Line toward Greenbelt (Archives)
Yellow Line Yellow Line toward Fort Totten (Archives)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Blue/Orange/Silver Line platforms
Westbound Blue Line Blue Line toward Franconia–Springfield (Smithsonian)
Orange Line Orange Line toward Vienna (Smithsonian)
Silver Line Silver Line toward Wiehle – Reston East (Smithsonian)
Island platform, doors will open on the left
Eastbound Blue Line Blue Line toward Largo Town Center (Federal Center SW)
Orange Line Orange Line toward New Carrollton (Federal Center SW)
Silver Line Silver Line toward Largo Town Center (Federal Center SW)


Notable nearby locations[edit]


  1. ^ Masters, Brooke A. (April 4, 1991). "Red Tape May Delay Va. Commuter Rail". Washington Post. 
  2. ^ Fehr, Stephen C. (June 18, 1992). "Getting on Track". Washington Post. 
  3. ^ "Metrorail Average Weekday Passenger Boardings" (PDF). WMATA. Retrieved 2017-04-26. 
  4. ^ Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (2010). "Dulles Metrorail Project Overview". Retrieved July 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ L'Enfant identified himself as "Peter Charles L'Enfant" during most of his life, while residing in the United States. He wrote this name on his "Plan of the city intended for the permanent seat of the government of t(he) United States ...." (Washington, D.C.) and on other legal documents. However, during the early 1900s, a French ambassador to the U.S., Jean Jules Jusserand, popularized the use of L'Enfant's birth name, "Pierre Charles L'Enfant". (Reference: Bowling, Kenneth R (2002). Peter Charles L'Enfant: vision, honor, and male friendship in the early American Republic. George Washington University, Washington, D.C. ISBN 978-0-9727611-0-9). The United States Code states in 40 U.S.C. 3309: "(a) In General.—The purposes of this chapter shall be carried out in the District of Columbia as nearly as may be practicable in harmony with the plan of Peter Charles L'Enfant." The National Park Service identifies L'Enfant as Major Peter Charles L'Enfant and as Major Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant on its website.
  6. ^ a b Google (December 19, 2010). "L'Enfant Plaza station" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  7. ^ Feaver, Douglas B. (July 1, 1977), "Today, Metro could be U.S. model", The Washington Post, p. A1 
  8. ^ Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (July 2009). "Sequence of Metrorail openings" (PDF). Retrieved July 25, 2010. 
  9. ^ Staff Reporters (June 24, 1977), "Metro's newest stations: Where they are, what's nearby", The Washington Post 
  10. ^ Eisen, Jack; John Feinstein (November 18, 1978), "City-County fanfare opens Orange Line; Ceremonies open new Orange Line", The Washington Post, p. D1 
  11. ^ Lynton, Stephen J. (April 25, 1983), "Trans-Potomac subway segment to open Saturday", The Washington Post, p. B1 
  12. ^ Fehr, Stephen C. (May 5, 1991), "Going was tough, but Green gets going", The Washington Post, p. D1 
  13. ^ "All aboard! Metro's new Silver Line rolls down the tracks for the first time.". Washington Post. 
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Zauzmer, Julie; Duggan, Paul; Hermann, Peter (January 12, 2015), "One dead after smoke fills Metro station, forcing evacuation", washingtonpost.com, Washington, DC: The Washington Post, retrieved January 13, 2015 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°53′05″N 77°01′19″W / 38.884775°N 77.021964°W / 38.884775; -77.021964