METRORail Red Line

Red Line
HoustonMetroRedLine.svg
METRO Light Rail3.jpg
Overview
TypeLight rail
SystemMETRORail
LocaleHouston, Texas
TerminiNorthline Transit Center Station (north)
Fannin South (south)
Stations25
Operation
OpenedJanuary 1, 2004
Expanded on December 21, 2013[1]
Operator(s)METRO
Technical
Line length12.8 mi (20.6 km)[3]
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrificationoverhead cantenary
Highest elevationAt-grade with two elevated sections[2]
Route map

Northline Transit Center/HCC
Melbourne/North Lindale
Lindale Park
Cavalcade
Moody Park
Fulton/North Central
Quitman/Near Northside
Burnett Transit Center
UH–Downtown
Amtrak
Preston
Central Station Main
     Green &
     Purple lines
Main Street Square
Bell
Downtown Transit Center
McGowen
Ensemble/HCC
Wheeler
Museum District
Hermann Park / Rice University
Memorial Hermann / Zoo
Dryden / TMC
TMC Transit Center
Smith Lands
Stadium Park / Astrodome
Fannin South

The Red Line is one of three light rail routes on the METRORail network operated by METRO in Houston, Texas. It is the oldest line in the METRORail system, with the first 7.5-mile (12.1 km) section of the line between Fannin South and UH–Downtown opening on January 1, 2004.

Construction on a 5.3-mile (8.5 km) extension to the north[4] began July 2009, and was expected to continue until 2014,[5] though the opening date was later pushed back to 2015.[6] On December 8, 2011, the FTA announced the award of a $450 million grant from the New Starts transit program to fund construction of the Red Line.[6][7] Better than expected construction progress eventually led to the new line opening ahead of schedule on December 21, 2013.[1]

Route

The approximately 12.8-mile (20.6 km)[3][8] Red Line runs through the heart of the historic North Side, a storied neighborhood rooted in rail that came into being with the expansion, in the 1880s, of the Hardy Rail Line.

Description

UH–Downtown, the northern terminus of the line for nearly 10 years

Starting at Fannin South, the Red Line travels parallel to Fannin Street, crossing under I-610, until it shifts onto Greenbriar Drive. It turns onto South Braeswood Boulevard briefly before returning to Fannin Street, which it follows through the Texas Medical Center. Through the Museum District, trains travel on one-way streets: southbound trains use Fannin Street, while northbound trains move onto San Jacinto Street. The tracks rejoin just south of I-69 before merging onto Main Street, which it follows through Midtown and Downtown. Along this stretch, the line intersects with the eastbound Green Line and Purple Line at Rusk Street and the westbound lines at Capitol Street. The tracks eventually move onto the west side of Main Street as they approach UH–Downtown station, the original terminus of the line, located adjacent to the University of Houston–Downtown campus.

Since 2013, the Red Line continues north, following Main Street through the Burnett Transit Center and on to Boundary Street, where it crosses east to Fulton Street, and proceeds north on Fulton through the Near Northside to its current terminus at the Northline Transit Center, located adjacent to the Northline campus of the Houston Community College.[9]

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