WASHINGTON -- Do you remember when Yellow Line trains didn't go north of Mount Vernon Square, a time where "Penn Quarter" and "Ronald Reagan" were not part of Metrorail station identities ... a time when the Blue Line extension to Largo Town Center was just a dashed line on the map?
While riding the Red Line on Monday evening in rail car No. 1230, The Huffington Post looked over at the posted rail system diagram and noted it was more than a decade old. For that digram to survive a handful of updates over the past 10 years is amazing. But this map, like all others in the system, will be replaced in the upcoming weeks as Metro prepares to launch its new Rush-Plus peak rail service pattern in June.
A decade ago, the Orange Line was a slightly more pale orange, the system diagram was slightly less crowded and some station names were different.
While finding this earlier version of the Metrorail system digram originally designed by Lance Wyman might not be as exciting as stumbling upon remaining examples of the New York City subway's old Vignelli map, it is interesting to see how D.C.'s transit system has evolved in its minor and major ways over the past 10 years or so.
Click through the slideshow to see how our public transit system has changed.
Upon first glance, the Metrorail diagram in this Red Line rail car (No. 1230), looks pretty much like the current one. Can you spot some of the differences? Click forward ...
In 2006, the Metro Board of Directors <a href="http://grahamwone.com/?q=node/518" target="_hplink">approved a plan</a> to extend Yellow Line service north of the Mount Vernon Square station during off-peak hours to provide additional service to booming areas near the U Street, Columbia Heights and Georgia Avenue-Petworth stations. As part of Metro's forthcoming <a href="http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/rushplus.cfm?" target="_hplink">Rush-Plus peak service pattern</a>, Yellow Line rail service will be expanded again, with trains running from the Blue Line's Franconia-Springfield terminal to the Green Line's Greenbelt terminal, via Fort Totten and Mount Vernon Square.
Back when the Metrorail diagram in train car No. 1230 was still accurate, people would have looked at you funny if you uttered the name "NoMa." "NoMa" where? (North of Massachusetts Avenue, of course.) On the old diagram, "New York Ave." was a planned "in-fill" station on the Red Line. There were dreams of a new commercial district around the new station, which was located off Florida Avenue, not New York Avenue. When it opened in November 2004, the "New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U" station seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere. Now, things are different. The "NoMa" branding started to stick as new office buildings and condos were built and people started to frequent the formerly desolate quarter adjacent to the Union Station rail yards. Soon, the Metrorail station's name will change to "NoMa-Gallaudet U." <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/perspective/6307451995/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">ElvertBarnes</a> </em>
Back on the old Metrorail diagram -- and in this photo from 2005 -- the "Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood" station name was devoid of the station's current "Brentwood" identity. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/robinelaine/19514724/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">robin.elaine</a></em>
The old Metrorail diagram simply listed "National Airport" as the station that served Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. In 2001, Congress forced Metro to change the name of the station to honor Reagan, something that is <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/longterm/library/airport/overview5.htm" target="_hplink">still a sore subject among many D.C. area locals</a> who are proud to call DCA simply "National Airport." In November 2011, a statue to Reagan, seen here, was installed at the entrance to the airport near Terminal A.
Back on the old Metrorail diagram, the Blue Line extension to Largo Town Center was just a dashed line, including a planned station at "Summerfield." Trains terminated at Addison Road-Seat Pleasant. The extension, shown here, opened in December 2004, with the "Summerfield" station renamed as "Morgan Boulevard." With Metro's <a href="http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/rushplus.cfm?" target="_hplink">forthcoming Rush-Plus peak service pattern</a>, some Orange Line trains will service Blue Line stations out to Largo.
Back on the old Metrorail diagram, the "Penn Quarter" neighborhood branding had not yet been applied to the "Archives-Navy Mem'l" station on the Yellow and Green Lines. For good reason, too. Penn Quarter wasn't really much of an attraction as it is today. Adding "Penn Quarter" to the station name made the rail diagram more crowded. <em>Photo by Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/f-oxymoron/5686399541/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">[F]oxymoron</a></em>
Back on the old Metrorail diagram, if you were headed to/from Dulles International Airport or Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Metro didn't give any indication transfer points to connecting transit services. Today's diagram points out that the B30 bus runs to/from BWI and the Greenbelt station and that the 5A bus runs to/from Dulles and the Rosslyn station.
Among other upcoming changes coming with <a href="http://wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=5208" target="_hplink">Metro's new Rush-Plus peak service pattern</a>, some Orange Line trains originating in Virginia will now terminate at the Blue Line's Largo Town Center station.
Among other upcoming changes coming with <a href="http://wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=5208" target="_hplink">Metro's new Rush-Plus peak service pattern</a>, some Yellow Line trains in Virginia will originate from the Franconia-Springfield station on the Blue Line, expanding transit service <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=h31hJjJ8uEE#!" target="_hplink">connecting that station, downtown D.C. and Maryland</a> via the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River and Mount Vernon Square.