Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Yesterday, I recounted the 13 rail systems I added to my "list" this year.

Over the past few years, I've been trying to ride each rail transit system in the United States. And I've made quite a bit of headway, too.


Below is the list of American systems I've ridden (in bold). I've organized them by mode. Within each mode, the year I first rode the mode is in parentheses. Non-bolded, red entries are systems I have not yet ridden.

The list groups lines within the same modal category operated by the same transit operator together. For example, I consider the Staten Island Railroad to be a part of the New York City subway (heavy rail).

Altogether, I've ridden 12 of the 13 (92%) American heavy rail systems, 18 of 25 (72%) of light rail systems, and 19 of 23 (83%) of commuter rail systems. Additionally, I've ridden 5 people mover/miscellaneous systems, all 3 modern vehicle streetcar systems, and 5 heritage/original streetcar systems.

Heavy Rail
  1. Atlanta - MARTA (circa 1993)
  2. Washington - Metro (1994)
  3. Boston - "T" (2002)
  4. San Francisco - BART (2006)
  5. Chicago - "L" (2007)
  6. Baltimore - Metro Subway (2007)
  7. Philadelphia - BSS/MFSE (2007)
  8. Philadelphia - PATCO (2007)
  9. Miami - Metrorail (2007)
  10. NY/NJ - PATH (2008)
  11. New York - NYC Subway (2008)
  12. Los Angeles - Metro (2010)
  13. Cleveland - Rapid (not yet ridden)
Light Rail
  1. Pittsburgh - "T" (2002)
  2. Boston - "T" (2002)
  3. Dallas - DART (2005)
  4. Portland - MAX (2006)
  5. San Francisco - Muni Metro (2006)
  6. Baltimore - Light Rail (2007)
  7. Philadelphia - light rail (2007)
  8. Camden - River Line (2008)
  9. Newark - Light Rail/City Subway (2008)
  10. San Jose - Light Rail (2008)
  11. Sacramento - Light Rail (2008)
  12. Minneapolis - Hiawatha Line (2008)
  13. Charlotte - Lynx Light Rail (2008)
  14. Jersey City - Hudson/Bergen LRT (2009)
  15. Los Angeles - Metro (2010)
  16. Oceanside - Sprinter (2010)
  17. San Diego - Trolley (2010)
  18. Seattle - Link Light Rail (2010)
  19. Buffalo - Metrorail (not yet ridden)
  20. Cleveland - light rail (not yet ridden)
  21. Denver - TheRide (not yet ridden)
  22. Houston - MetroRail (not yet ridden)
  23. Phoenix - MetroRail (not yet ridden)
  24. Salt Lake City - TRAX (not yet ridden)
  25. St. Louis - MetroLink (not yet ridden)
  26. Norfolk - The Tide (opens 2011)
Commuter Rail
  1. Washington - MARC (1994)
  2. Dallas - Trinity Railway Express (2005)
  3. Chicago - Metra (2006)
  4. Philadelphia - SEPTA Regional Rail (2007)
  5. Miami - Tri-Rail (2007)
  6. Washington - Virginia Railway Express (2008)
  7. New Jersey - NJT commuter rail (2008)
  8. San Francisco - Caltrain (2008)
  9. San Jose - Altamont Commuter Express (2008)
  10. Nashville - Music City Star (2009)
  11. New York - Metro-North (2009)
  12. New York - Long Island Railroad (2009)
  13. New Haven - Shore Line East (2009)
  14. Boston - MBTA commuter rail (2009)
  15. Los Angeles - Metrolink (2010)
  16. San Diego - Coaster (2010)
  17. Seattle - Sounder (2010)
  18. Portland - Westside Express Service (2010)
  19. Chicago - NICTD South Shore Line (2010)
  20. Austin - Capital MetroRail (not yet ridden)
  21. Salt Lake City - Frontrunner (not yet ridden)
  22. Minneapolis - Northstar (not yet ridden)
  23. Albuquerque - Railrunner (not yet ridden)
  24. Dallas - A-Train (opens 2011)
AGT/Miscellaneous
As a general rule, I don't count fully self-contained people movers toward this list, although I do ride many of them. For instance, I've lost count of the times I've ridden the Atlanta Airport APM, but I don't count it, since it is entirely within the airport. This list is probably missing several which I have not ridden and am either unaware of or forgot to mention.
  1. Miami - Metromover (2oo7)
  2. Philadelphia - Norristown High-Speed Line (2008)
  3. New York - AirTrain JFK (2009)
  4. Morgantown - WVU PRT (2010)
  5. Seattle - Seattle Center Monorail (2010)
  6. AirTrain Newark (not yet ridden)
  7. Detroit - Peoplemover (not yet ridden)
  8. Las Colinas (Dallas) - PRT (not yet ridden)
  9. Las Vegas - Monorail (not yet ridden)
  10. Jacksonville - Skyway (not yet ridden) added, thanks IMGoph
Streetcar
I've further sub-categorized streetcars into modern, heritage, and original. Heritage includes lines that use faux-heritage cars, even ones built specifically for the line. Original lines refer to lines that never closed permanently but were not modernized into LRT.

I don't count trolley museums or seasonal/part-time services.
  1. Dallas - McKinney Ave. Trolley (2005) heritage
  2. Portland - Portland Streetcar (2006) modern
  3. San Francisco - Cable Cars (2006) cable car
  4. San Francisco - F Line (2006) heritage
  5. Charlotte - Charlotte Trolley (2009) heritage
  6. Boston - Mattapan High-Speed Line (2009) original
  7. Seattle - Seattle Streetcar (2010) modern
  8. Tacoma - Tacoma Link (2010) modern
  9. Kenosha - Kenosha Streetcars [heritage] (not yet ridden)
  10. Little Rock - River Rail Streetcar [heritage] (not yet ridden)
  11. Memphis - MATA Trolley [heritage] (not yet ridden)
  12. New Orleans - streetcars [original] (not yet ridden)
  13. Philadelphia - Girard Line [original] (not yet ridden)
  14. Savannah - River Street Streetcar [original] (not yet ridden)
  15. Tampa - TECO Line Streetcar [heritage] (not yet ridden)
I've made a lot of progress since I first boarded MARTA somewhere around age 8. I didn't really start trying to ride them all until about 2006, or so.

Anyway, if it's in red (or blue), I intend to ride it one day. I'm hoping to polish off Cleveland (and heavy rail) in 2011, along with a few others.

And of course, as I travel, I'll re-ride many of those I've already checked off. After all, it's the journey that matters, not the destination.

7 comments:

lemur said...

Interesting. I'm surprised that you count the MBTA Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line as a streetcar, though. It's not street-running (it has its own private right-of-way), and I think it's a bit of an old interurban line, so I'd count it as light rail.

Chris said...

As a clarification, SEPTA considers the Norristown High Speed Line as Heavy Rail in its classification.

Although it really is a unique example of an interurban trolley. If it had higher ridership they would use couple cars more frequently.

IMGoph said...

what about jacksonville?

Matt' said...

See? I told you I'd forget some. I haven't ridden Jacksonville's people mover. I'm adding it to the list.

Tom Veil said...

I strongly recommend the New Mexico Railrunner, not so much for the Albuquerque end as for the Santa Fe end. ABQ is tough to get around without a taxi, but Santa Fe is built on a human scale, and I was able to take in tons of sights and shops all on foot.

davidj said...

If you ever get the inclination to discuss such things, I'd be interested in which specific lines of Chicago's L and Metra (or for that matter of other multiline systems) you rode.

Matt' said...

@davidj
Sorry for the delayed posting of your comment. I didn't see it in the moderation queue.

In Chicago, I've ridden Metra Electric and the South Shore Line.

I've also ridden a good bit of the L:
RD: Howard - Garfield
OR: Loop - Midway (all)
YL: None
GR: Conservatory - Garfield
BL: O'Hare - Clinton
PU: Howard - Loop
BR: Kimball - Loop (all)
PK: Ashland - Loop