Branch Avenue Station

The Branch Avenue Station is the terminal station of the Branch Avenue Route (F Route), which carries Green Line trains. The Branch Avenue Station is located on Auth Way, just off of Branch Avenue at the auto park, in Prince George's County, Maryland. There is also a station entrance off of Capital Gateway Drive. The station is about 1/3 mile from Branch Avenue, which in 2001 is a six-lane arterial at that point which is also just west of the I-95/I-495 Capital Beltway. Branch Avenue is also Route MD-5, and serves as an arterial highway between southeastern D.C. and southern Prince George's County, Maryland, and it has a cloverleaf interchange with the Beltway.

The Branch Avenue Station was built with parking lots for 3,000 long-term parking spaces, a lot for 150 short-term Kiss-and-Ride spaces, a lot for 20 high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) spaces, and with 15 bus bays. (Source: "Green Line to Branch Ave Grand Opening", brochure handout by WMATA).

This station serves residential areas and businesses in the Auth Road and Branch Avenue areas, and serves as a terminal park-and-ride station for commuters between Prince George's County and the District of Columbia, and Virginia and other destinations that are reachable on the Metrorail system. An extra-large platform area was built at the L'Enfant Plaza Station (a 4-way transfer station for the Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green Lines), which is located at 7th Street and D Street SW in D.C., so that an easy transfer between the Green Line and Yellow Line could be accomplished for commuters traveling between southern Prince George's County and Virginia destinations such as the Pentagon, National Airport, Alexandria and Springfield.

Since the final cost for the 6.5-mile Branch Avenue Route extension came in below budget, WMATA was able to use the funds saved to advance the construction of the service and inspection (S&I) yard at the end of the line just beyond the Branch Avenue Station. This yard, the Branch Avenue Rail Storage Yard, will be the eighth S&I Yard on the system. Construction began in July 1999, and the yard will be completed in mid-2002. Situated on 37 acres, the yard will include 10 tracks to provide storage capacity for 116 Metrorail cars and one track for maintenance vehicles. The yard and its buildings will be used for service, inspection and maintenance of rail cars. The tail track of the Branch Avenue Route east of the Branch Avenue Station curves around to the north and west, opening out into the S&I Yard, and wraps around the north edge of the station's parking lots. (Source: "Green Line to Branch Ave Grand Opening", brochure handout by WMATA).

Above, Branch Avenue Station platform, looking west (inbound).

Above, Branch Avenue Station platform, looking west (inbound).

Above, Branch Avenue Station, looking east from mezzanine. Tail track is in the distance, and it curves around to the left, curving almost 180 degrees, to the S&I Yard which is under construction in January 2001.

All photos © Copyright January 2001 by Scott Kozel. All rights reserved.

Lead article for Metrorail Branch Avenue Route Completion.

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By Scott M. Kozel, Roads to the Future

(Created 1-23-01 9:45 PM; counter 43,348)