Legend and Nomenclature Full System Track Schematic

System Track Schematics:

106 mile (ARS) Area Regional System Track Schematicas operated by WMATA today.

129 mile (ARS) Adopted Area Regional System Track Schematic showing configuration of the future Tysons, Dulles, Loudoun County route.

The above schematics show main lines, revenue, nonrevenue, yards, other trackage. Also shown are provisions for future and or proposed routes in design stages;
  • In design stage; Dulles, Loudoun County. Construction schedule to start fourth quarter 2006.
    Note : Route configuration based on Dulles Corridor Rapid Transit Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) dated 12 28 2004 and the Preliminary Engineering Design Refinement Environmental Assessment (PEDREA) dated 02 21 2006

    Finel design subject to change.
System Track Schematic Nomenclature

The "Nomenclature" used in this document is used to describe the information seen in the track schematic. Some but not all of nomenclature is used within WMATA. Descriptions in 'single quote' are not WMATA terms.

Line Colors, Route Letters

Line Colors

The six* lines of the system are identified by color (Red, Blue, Orange, Green, Yellow and Silver*) run along 12 routes identified by letter (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, J, K, L, J and N). The route letters radiate out from Metro Center (A, B, C and D) and Gallery Place (E and F). G route branches off of the D route at D and G Junction, J route branches off the C route at C and J junction, K route branch off the C route at C and K junction. The L route connects the F route to the C route between L'Enfant Plaza and Pentagon. The future Tysons Dulles Loudoun County route Branches off The K Route at K and N junction. Provisions for for the junction are in place on the K route east of the West Falls Church Station. The final design of the junction has been changed from the provisions built. Some of these provisions will not be used.

Red Line Shady Grove Road Glenmont
Blue Line Franconia-Springfield Addison Road (Largo Town Center)
Orange Line New Carrollton Vienna
Green Line Greenbelt Branch Avenue
Yellow Line Mount Vernon Square Huntington
Silver Line* Ashburn VA 722 Stadium Armory

*Silver is the color assigned to the future Tysons, Dullas, Loudoun County line.

Route letters

A Route Metro Center Shady Grove Road
B Route Metro Center Glenmont
C Route Metro Center Huntington
D Route Metro Center New Carrollton
E Route Gallery Place Greenbelt
F Route Gallery Place Branch Avenue
G Route D and G Junction** Addison Road
(Largo Town Center)
J Route C and J Junction** Franconia-Springfield
K Route C and K Junction
L Route F and L Junction
(L'Enfant Plaza)
C and L Juction
N Route K and N junction Ashburn VA 722

**D and G Junction is locate within its own train control Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) between Stadium Armory and Minnesota Avenue station on the D Route, C and J Junction is located within its own train control RTU between King Street and Eisenhower Avenue Stations on the C Route.

See Station and other RTU number assignments below.

Missing letter H and I routes

The 1974 ARS Area Regional System map had the J route terminal Station at Backlick Road and Norfork Southern Railroad right of way. The H route was assigned to the existing J route from Van Dorn Street Station to the Franconia Station that was to built at Franconia Road and the CSX railroad right of way. The original J route was removed from the ARS and the H route was reasigned as the J route and extended further south to Franconia-Springfield. I is not used as a route letter. Letters above L would be assigned to the next branches built. Tysons, Dullas, Loudoun branch off the K route east of West Fall Church Station is assigned N and Colombia Pike Lincolnia branch off the C route south of Pentagon station if built would likely be asigned as M. However I have never seen any official WMWTA documents that have a route letter assigned to it.

What direction is that train going

This subject would seem confusing based on the fact that all of the lines follow multiple direction of the compass between terminals. The Red Line directions are identified as "to Shady Grove" and "to Glenmont", Blue Line east west, Orange line east west, Green Line north south and Yellow line north south.

Which track is which

Red line track 1 trains to Shady Grove, track 2 trains to Glenmont station. All other lines northbound track 1 southbound track 2, eastbound track 1, westbound track 2. At station and other location where a third track is located (pocket track) this track is identified as track 3.

Letter Numbers Codes

Every station is also identified by a letter number code system based on the route letter assigned to the route and the station number as assigned in ascending order as the route radiates away from the geographic center of the system. Each of these numbers identifies the station and the adjoining area of track that the local wayside train control room controls. The 4 two level transfer stations where the lines cross a 90 degrees (Metro Center, Gallery Place, L'Enfant Plaza and Fort Totten) have 2 letter number codes assigned to them one for each route that passes through the station (see table below) At present there are 2 wayside train control rooms that do not have station within there control area C11 and J01. Number descending from 99 are assigned to yards, yard leads and junctions that are not within the control area of an adjacent station way side train control room. The letter number code system is technically assigned to the RTU in the stations train control room or the way side train control room between stations and in yards.

The RTU is the data link interface between the way side train control and the central control computer at WMATA headquarters. Every station in the system has a RTU. The RTU also allows supervisors to control other system such as traction power and other system that are not directly related to the safe movement of trains, such as fan and vent shaft status, pumping station status, intrusion, fire and smoke detection.

Station and other RTU number assignments

A Route B route
Metro Center A01 Gallery Place B01
Farragut North A02 Judiciary Square B02
Dupont Circle A03 Union Station B03
Woodley Park-Zoo A04 New York Avenue B3.5
Cleveland Park A05 Brentwood Yard B99
Van Ness A06 Rhode Island Avenue B04
Tenleytown A07 Brookland-CUA B05
Friendship Heights A08 Fort Totten B06
Bethesda A09 Takoma B07
Medical Center A10 Silver Spring B08
Grosvenor A11 Forest Glen B09
White Flint A12 Wheaton B10
Twinbrook A13 Glenmont B11
Rockville A14 Glenmont Yard B98
Shady Grove A15
Shady Grove Yard A99

C Route D route
Metro Center C01 Federal Triangle D01
Mcpherson Square C02 Smithsonian D02
Farragut West C03 L'Enfant Plaza D03
Foggy Bottom D04 Federal Center SW D04
Rosslyn D05 Capitol South D05
Arlington Cemetery C06 Eastern Market D06
Pentagon City C07 Potomac Avenue D07
Pentagon C08 Stadium-Armory D08
Crystal City C09 D & G Junction D98
National Airport C10 Minnesota Avenue B09
Potomac Yard C11* Deanwood D10
Braddock Road C12 Cheverly D11
King Street C13 Landover D12
C & J Junction C97 New Carrollton D13
Eisenhower Avenue C14 New Carrollton Yard D99
Huntington C15

*Train control RTU that does not have a station. A station has been proposed to be built within this RTU.

E Route F route
Mount Vernon Square E01 Gallery Place F01
Shaw E02 Archives F02
U Street E03 L'Enfant Plaza F03
Columbia Heights E04 Waterfront F04
Georgia Avenue-Petworth E05 Navy Yard F05
Fort Totten E06 Anacostia F06
West Hyattsville E07 Congress Heights F07
Prince George's Plaza E08 Naylor Road F08
College Park E09 Southern Avenue F09
Greenbelt E10 Suitland F10
Greenbelt Yard E99 Branch Avenue F11
Branch Avenue Yard F99

G Route J route
Benning Road G01 Alexandra Yard Lead C98*
Capitol Heights G02 Alexandra Yard C99*
Addison Road G03 Quaker Lane J01**
Summerfield G04 Van Dorn Street J02
Largo Town Center G05 Franconia-Springfield J03

*Alexandra Yard Lead C98 and Alexandra Yard C99 would be considered part of the J route at first glance of a system map. They were assigned C route designation because they were built as part of the C route to allow the lead tracks that connect the Alexandra Yard to the C route mainline tracks. The J Route main line track west of the east junction from the yard leads to the mainline were not built as part of the Alexandria Yard and leads track work contracts. The West end of the yard leads ended at a bumper post, only after the construction of the J Route mainline tracks west of the east lead junction was the west lead connected to the J Route mainline.

**Train control RTUs that do not have a station. A pre ARS planing document shows a proposed station in this RTU. No station have been formally proposed for this location.
K Route N Route
Court House K01 Falls Church Yard Lead K97
Clarendon K02 Dulles Connector Road N01**
Virginia Square K03 Tysons East N02
Ballston K04 (West Park)
East Falls Church K05 Tysons Central 123 N03
K & N Junction K98 (Tysons Center)
West Falls Church K06 Tysons Central 7 N04
Falls Church Yard K99 (Pike Seven)
Dunn Loring K07 Tysons West  N05
Vienna K08 (Spring Hill Road)
Wolf Trap N06*
Hunter Mill N07**
Wiehle Avenue N08
Reston Parkway N09
Herndon Monrow N10
VA 28 (Sulley Road) N11
Dulles International Airport N12
Dulles Pocket N13*
Dulles Yard Lead N98
Dulles Yard N99
VA 606 (Morgan Road) N14
VA 277 (Ryan Road) N15

*Train control RTU that does not have a station. Provision for a future station will be built within this RTU.

**Train control RTU that do not have a station.

RTU Assignment and locations along the N route are not totaly known to me and are likely subject to change.

All signals head have even numbers, regardless which direction one is going, facing point, trailing point from main route, trailing point from diverging route from track 1 or 2 on main line or any other track pocket track or yard track. All switch point motors have odd numbers.

There is a pattern to the way signal number are assigned to signal at crossover, pockets tracks and revenue junctions. Crossovers south, west and to Shady Grove track 2 XNN 08, (X = line NN = wayside train control RTU) track 1 XNN 04, north, east and to Glenmont track 1 XNN 06, track 2 XNN 02.

Junction with the exception D and G junction, regardless of normal direction travel facing point track 1 XNN 02, trailing point main route track 1 XNN 04, trailing point 'diverging route' track 1 XNN 14, facing point track 2 XNN 06, trailing point main route track 2 XNN 08, trailing point diverging route track 2 XNN 16.

In the case of D and G junction the signal numbers are assigned based on numbers assignment in a pocket track interlocking with 2 additional signals for the trailing point 'diverging route' at the 2 junction switches. Track G1 D98 48 and track G2 D98 52.

Pocket tracks facing point at entrance to pocket track north, east and to Glenmont track 1 XNN 26, track 2 XNN 30, trailing point at exit from pocket track, north, east to Glenmont track 1 XNN 36, track 2 XNN 40, facing point at exit of pocket track (track 3) to main line tracks north, east to Glenmont XNN 44. Facing point at entrance to pocket track south, west and to Shady Grove track 1 XNN 38, track 2 XNN 42, facing point at exit from pocket track 1. South, west and to Shady Grove track 1 XNN 32, track 2, XNN 28 facing point at exit of pocket track (track 3) to main line tracks south, west and to Shady Grove XNN 34.

Crossover switch point motors are assigned 1A 1B with 1A having the XNN 02 signal on the facing approach to switch point and 1B at XNN 08 signal. 3A 3B are assigned to the other crossover in the interlocking with 3A at XNN 04 signal and 3B at the XNN 06 signal.

Pocket tracks switch point motors are assigned 5A 5B with 5A at the XNN 26 signal and 5B at the XNN 34 signal, 7 at the XNN 30 signal, 9 at the XNN 30 signal, 11A 11B with 11A at the XNN 40 signal, 11B at the XNN 42 signal. In the case of D and G junction 13 and 15 are assigned to the junction switch point motors 13 track 1 junction switch and 15 track 2 junction switch.

Junction tracks switch point motors are assigned 1 track 1 at the XNN 02 signal and 3 track 2 at the XNN 06 signal regardless of normal direction of travel.

Signal system

The signals that are located at interlockings only control the movement of trains within the interlocking. The areas between interlockings are controlled using standard automatic block signals relay logic. The only difference between the automatic block signal system on metrorail and applications of automatic block signals elsewhere is there are no track side signals that display the condition of the blocks ahead of the train. The signal status of track ahead of the train is conveyed to the train operator by way of speed commands displayed on the train operators operating console. All main line tracks are signaled for bye directional operations. When traffic is routed along a track against the normal direction travel the next interlocking will not allow traffic to enter the section of track that is occupied with a train moving against the normal flow of traffic. The bye directional signaling allows for the movement of trains to continue if a section of the main line is blocked by a train that is broken down, falure of signal system, broken rail or for track maintenance or other maintenance tasks where it would be unsafe to be doing such tasks with the presents of trains along the track.

Signal aspects

The signals that are located at interlockings only control the movement of trains within the interlocking. Red over Red means stop and stay, Lunar means clear, flashing Lunar at some of the newer interlocking installations means clear 'diverging route' reverse route. Flashing Lunar are currently installed at the following locations.

Forest Glen B09 Prince George's Plaza E08
Wheaton B10 College Park E09
Glenmont B11 Greenbelt E10
Pentagon C07 L'Enfant Plaza F03
C&J Junction C97 Navy Yard F05
D&G Junction D98 Anacostia F06
Mount Vernon Square E01 Southern Avenue F08
U Street E03 Naylor Road F09
Georgia Avenue E05 Branch Avenue F11
Fort Totten E06 Van Dorn J02
West Hyattsville E07 Franconia-Springfield J03

Note: Sense this list was compiled other interlockings have been upgrade to display a flashing Lunar for diverging route routing through interlocking.

When a train clears the interlocking and the interlocking route tables are not set to route the next train on a different path the signal automatically reset to clear lunar. In the event that the interlocking route tables are set to allow a different path for the next train the signal remains stop, red over red. When the train inters the advance approach track track circuit before the interlocking the onboard train destination code is transmitted to train control room and the train control room instruct the interlocking to set the path based on the destination code in the interlocking route table.

Other Signal

The P Signal is a single lunar signal that displays the letter "P" and is found at the entrance to some but not all pocket tracks and other selected main line interlockings in the reverse direction of the normal flow of traffic. Below the P signal on the same post is a punch box to allow the train operator to manually set the switch to the 'diverting direction' (reverse) when the P Signal is lit. The P signal is only lit when a train occupies the two track circuit approaching the P Signal and all other possible routes into the interlocking are not occupied. The operator can only proceed when the interlocking signal displays a lunar aspact.

All bumper posts at all tail tracks and stub end tracks in yards are protected with a red over red signal. These signal unlike there interlocking brothers do not have numbers assigned to them that are similar to interlocking signal labels. they are marked with Route letter and track number with a X where the Lunar would be.

ATC (Automatic Train Control) territories

Not all track(s) are equipped to allow trains to travel using the full capability of the ATC. The only track that are equipped with ATC are main line track used to carry trains with revenue passengers. The boundaries between ATC and non ATC territories are marked with a green sign with white letters reading "ATO STOP" (Automatic Train Operation) at the end of ATC territory. The ATO stop sign can be found at the outbound end of all terminal station platforms on both tracks. At the entry point of ATC territory is the "ATO START" sign. The ATO start sign can be found at the inbound end of all terminal station platforms on both tracks.

Track side signs

There are only two types of signs along the main line that inform train operators of specific normal conditions. The "S" sign informs the operators that he/she is approaching a station platform. The location of the S sign is, no greater then 1200' 365.75m from end of platform. The "TB" sign is located at a point beyond the interlocking not less then 600' 182.9m from the signal that protects entry in to the interlocking. The location of the sign informs the train operator that when the cab of train is abreast of the TB sign that an eight car train is clear of the interlocking and the operator can safely reverse the train and pass through the interlocking on the desired route.

Note This document is not an official WMATA document. It is in no way is endorsed by WMATA.

John R Cambron 06 04 2006