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HQMetroMap

Map of DC area metro as found at Metro Central

D.C.'s fastest highway... is underground!

The Washington, D.C. Metro, officially the Metro Mass Transit System[1] but often simply called the Metro, was a pre-War rapid transit system administrated by the District of Columbia Transit Authority. Complemented by an above-ground network of City Liner buses, administered by the D.C. Metro Service Bureau, it provided the citizens of Washington, D.C. and visitors with an extensive transit network spanning not just the city, but also locales in Maryland and Virginia.

Although the system was abandoned and fell into disuse after the Great War, the quality of its construction allowed it to survive two centuries in fairly good condition, providing the means for traveling between the districts of D.C. and its neighboring communities, even if above ground routes are unavailable.

HistoryEdit

With its origins dating back to the 20th century, the Metro was one of the largest public transit systems in the nation, with millions of trips each year.[2] The extensive network of stations and rail tunnels was continuously upgraded and revamped, driven by the continuously rising demand for convenient transit in a city beset by congestion and pollution.[3]

By 2077, the metro network consisted of three primary lines (Blue, Red and White), with portions of it semi-automated. Protectrons were widely deployed to provide security and processing passengers in the absence of personnel. Wartime regulations also led to a heightened level of security among DCTA personnel, whose security teams were provided with laser pistols as standard sidearms.[4]

When the Great War came, the metro network weathered the holocaust mostly intact. Although some sections suffered damage and lost power, most of the network remained under power and its systems fully functioning, providing shelter to those that hid from the nuclear bombardment within. Soon after, remnants of the DCTA attempted cleanup alongside survivors from government agencies, the military and law enforcement. Metro stations were sealed with chainlink barriers, with some used as dumping ground for irradiated soil and other dangerous waste.[5] However, as it became clear that the United States was not coming back, the survivors gradually gave up until there was no one left to maintain the Metro. Worse, nuclear fallout drifted underground, the radiation slowly seeping into the bodies of the survivors. Those who did not succumb to radiation sickness were twisted, changed into ghouls or worse, mindless, aggressive drones. The latter eventually became the most frequent encounter within metro stations.[6]

As the years passed, the metro network deteriorated. Without maintenance, tunnels collapsed, stations caved in, while technology often simply shut down in the absence of power and presence of environmental damage. Yet vast portions of it remained intact, some of it still powered by automated power plants that escaped devastation and decay. humans and mutants laid claim to a number of stations, driving out the wildlife. Nearly two centuries later, in 2277, the Washington, D.C. metro network remains a place of refuge for raiders and impoverished wastelanders, a highway for militarized groups vying for control of the region and a treasure trove of salvage for those willing to brave its dangers, including super mutants, raiders and feral ghouls.

Metro carsEdit

Meresti Trainyard

Derelict metro cars sitting in a railyard.

These cars were introduced with the modernization of the metro. Each car is an independent unit with a passenger compartment that can be connected to another car by a coupling. A specially built car, the engine car, had an engineer's compartment placed ahead and above the passenger compartment. At a minimum, the engine car could tow four cars.

Most of the cars, save for the engine cars, survived the War. The engine cars were either destroyed completely or salvaged by later visitors to the metro. It's possible that the engine cars were buried in the tunnel collapses. The appearance of engine cars is preserved in advertisements created for the metro.

The metro is unlike many real-world subway systems. The use of an "engine car" towing non-powered cars is unusual, most real-world versions were phased out as the size of engine motors decreased (an example of such an engine used on the London Underground still exists). Real subways tend to use multiple unit trains where two or more cars are permanently joined, and then assembled into longer trains. Each group of cars has a drivers' cab at each end, removing the need to detach the engine at the end of the line, turn it around and reconnect it to the front of the train for the return journey

While a real subway carries its own engines under each car, it is usually not self-propelled, and instead collects electricity via a third or fourth rail or pantograph and overhead wires.

Metro stationsEdit

Stations are identified on the surface level by directional signs and obelisks with the metro symbol. The main stations have a grander entrance, with four escalators leading down to the station entrance. Smaller stations have single concrete staircases that lead down to the entrance underneath a curved roof of glass panels, now broken. Double chain-link gates open to connect the entrance to the station's lobby.

Generally, the stations share a similar configuration. They have a lobby where the customers once bought tickets from a metro employee ("agent") in a ticket booth. Restrooms and offices are located off the lobbies. Some lobbies have vending machines. In a few lobbies, there are status displays that show the power status of stations on the three primary lines in Washington, D.C. There is no display for the surrounding communities.

Customers would walk down a sloping hallway into the mezzanine. In the mezzanine, customers would present their tickets to turnstiles. (Some customers might prefer presenting their tickets to the protectrons that patrolled the lobby.) On the mezzanines, and lower down on the platforms, the customers could rest on benches.

On the platforms, accessible by escalators, customers waited for their trains. Station identifying signs are posted on either side of the platforms. Some stations are known by more than one name. For example, one station is known both as Anacostia Crossing station and Eastern Market. Further down, in the subway tunnels, signs identified the line.

Metro linesEdit

By 2077, the Red Line, Blue Line, and White Line were the primary lines for the metro.

Red LineEdit

Red Line trainyard - Meresti - Friendship - Tenleytown - Dupont - Metro Central - Museum - Anacostia Crossing

The Red Line consists of six known stations. It was the first line completed in the system.

DescriptionEdit

The Red Line was the first line completed. This line serves the central DC area and connects it with the northern and southern suburbs through its north-south orientation. The line serves from Friendship in the north to Anacostia Crossing in the south, and interchanges with the White Line at Metro Central. The line is shown on maps to extend further to the north and south suggesting links to Maryland and Virginia.

Trains on this line are serviced from Meresti trainyard in the north.

StationsEdit

Current statusEdit

Like most of the network, the Red Line is not in a serviceable condition due to damage to stations, tunnels, tracks, and rolling stock. However, all stations appear to be receiving electricity according to control monitors.

Blue LineEdit

Blue Line trainyard - Warrington - Marigold - Falls Church - Franklin - Minuteman - L'Enfant - FDR Island - North Potomac - Jury Street

The Blue Line consists of nine known stations. It was the second line completed in the system.

DescriptionEdit

The Blue Line serves the west of the greater DC area. The line is known to extend from Marigold in the southwest, to as far east as L'Enfant Plaza, and then northwest to North Potomac. The line is shown to extend beyond these points on DCTA maps, but it is not known if these were in passenger service, links to service depots, or were used for long-distance services.

The Blue Line does not share any stations with either of the other metro lines; although the line appears to cross the White line near FDR Island station (on the blue line) and Foggy Bottom station (on the white line) on the system map, the lines are grade-separated, meaning a service linking the lines would not be possible without further construction.

Trains on the Blue Line were serviced from the Warrington trainyard, which also acted as the line's terminus in Virginia.

StationsEdit

Current statusEdit

Like most DC metro lines, the Blue Line is currently not in a serviceable condition due to damage to stations, tunnels, tracks, and rolling stock. However, large parts of the line can be traversed on foot, with the exception of irradiated parts of the line, such as near L'Enfant plaza and Warrington trainyard, and certain waterlogged sections.

Most stations still have access to electricity according to control monitors; additionally, some stations retain their protectron security guards; however, some stations have become home to groups of feral ghouls.

White LineEdit

White lineEdit

Platz - Arlington - Foggy Bottom - Metro Central - Vernon Square - Becton - Abernathy - Takoma

The White Line consists of eight known stations and was the last line completed in the system.

DescriptionEdit

This line extends from Takoma in the northeast through the center of the city (meeting the Red Line at Metro Central) through to Platz in the west. Although the White and Blue Lines cross, this crossing is on different grades preventing any interchange of services or stations.

Like the other lines, the route map appears to extend into Maryland and Virginia.

It is not known where trains on this line were serviced.

StationsEdit

Current statusEdit

Like most of the network, the white line is not in a serviceable condition due to damage to stations, tunnels, tracks, and rolling stock. However, all stations appear to be receiving electricity according to control monitors.

Other stationsEdit

There are many stations in the Capital Wasteland whose connection to these three lines is not fully understood. This is due to the extensive damage that is visited upon these stations. These stations include the Fairfax Metro station and Bethesda underworks. Other stations had their entrances so completely destroyed that any attempt at locating them is impossible.

Metro protectronsEdit

Protectrons were added to the metro in the modernization program. They were programmed to replace human ticket collectors and for defending the metro from a variety of threats. These machines are usually located in a security office off of the main station lobby. The Lone Wanderer can activate the robot by hacking into a control terminal. Once the protectron is activated, it will head out to patrol the lobby and attack any target that does not have a valid metro ticket. Tickets can usually be found within the security office or throughout the metro system, however, if there are enemies present the protectron will normally prioritize dealing with them over ticket collection.

Spatial Orientation issuesEdit

The Pip-Boy world map usually indicates where the entrances to metro stations are with a circled-M logo. When one moves the pointer to one, it shows the name of the station. The problem is that the name it shows is often not the same as the name that appears if outside the subway and bringing up the Pip-Boy's local map for the area, nor the same as the name gotten for the exit to that station when bringing up the local map while inside the subway.

Because of all the interconnections between outside paths and inside subway stations, this name inconsistency adds an additional level of difficulty to getting around in an already difficult situation.

To add to the confusion, the distance scale inside a subway is often not the same as outside. For example, in the southeast area of the map, the distance looks pretty significant between the Seward Square station (near the Ranger compound) and the Anacostia Crossing (near Rivet City), but what looks like miles can be traversed in a flash simply by entering the station and walking no more than a couple of hundred feet across the subway platform.

To adjust for this difference, one gets an anomaly in that when they get to the Anacostia Crossing gate after leaving Seward Square, the world map will show that they are still on the edge of Seward Square, but after exiting the gate, it will show them all the way down at the station by Rivet City.

This effect is not limited to subways. At the back door of the GNR building, one gets a different positioning before and after going through the door.

One of the worst map glitches may be the Dupont station and Georgetown West Metro station markers. On the world map, the markers overlap with the Dupont station marker being to the left (west), which makes it seem like the DCTA tunnel exit down the stairs from Georgetown West, which is all that shows up on the local map, but if fast traveling to the Dupont station marker, one will end up in a completely different area/local map.

Metro connectionsEdit

The only way to reach the Super Mutant-occupied D.C. ruins is by traveling underground, usually through the abandoned Metro tunnels.Fallout 3 loading screen
FO3 Metro map

Metro map

While it may appear to be impossible to get very far in the subway tunnels because of all the debris, the fact is that one can get to a number of locations without ever having to come above ground, and even more when adding in places where one can make short, safe walks above ground from one station's exit to another station's entrance. With just a couple of short above-ground walks, someone can get all the way from Farragut West (just across the river from Super-Duper Mart) to Rivet City (near the bottom of the map) and many important places along the way.

NotesEdit

  • On Sundays, all passengers were allowed to ride for free.[7][8]
  • Unlike the ruined posters found in game, the "D.C.'s fastest highway" adverts seen on loading screens don't include any station names.

AppearancesEdit

The DC metro appears only in Fallout 3.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The WMATA logo in real-life is also a capital letter M, although it uses a different font than the Fallout version.
  • Many aspects of the interior design are similar to their real world counterparts such as the ceiling and floor designs.
The most predominant of these connective areas are the metros. Metro is the colloquial term for the D.C. subway system, operated by the fictional DCTA organization. We envisioned a pre-war system of stations and tracks which mimics D.C.'s real-world public transit system, and used that to guide our development of the DCTA metro. While many tunnels have collapsed and stations have been rendered inaccessible, the player can still make use of in-world cues such as maps and station signs to navigate the innards of D.C. The largest continuous set of tunnels allows the player to reach almost any neighborhood without needing to go above ground, negotiating derelict train tunnels and frequently passing through mingled areas such as collapsed basements and natural caves exposed within the decaying underground. This also helped us to contrast the overworld and underground of D.C. through gameplay. While the ruins of D.C. are overrun with supermutants and unchecked mercenary patrols, the underground areas are refuge to generally-weaker denizens such as feral ghouls and radroaches, though it is harder to avoid conflict in these claustrophobic confines.Notes on Pulling the Sky Down: The Level Design of Fallout 3
  • As a result, many stations have an identical name and roughly similar location to real life stations, including Anacostia, Dupont Circle, Falls Church, Foggy Bottom, Friendship Heights, L'Enfant Plaza, Metro Central, Mount Vernon Square, Takoma, and Tenleytown. Fictional station names are still similar, including Franklin (Franconia), Marigold (Merrifield), and Platz (Vienna).[9]
    • The "D.C.'s fastest highway" (see gallery below) adverts also mention two real world stations, Smithsonian and Eastern Market, that can't be found in game.
  • The Fallout metro map can be compared with the actual WMATA map here

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. DCTA Metro map
  2. Notes on Pulling the Sky Down: The Level Design of Fallout 3 : "The most predominant of these connective areas are the metros. Metro is the colloquial term for the D.C. subway system, operated by the fictional DCTA organization. We envisioned a pre-war system of stations and tracks which mimics D.C.'s real-world public transit system, and used that to guide our development of the DCTA metro. While many tunnels have collapsed and stations have been rendered inaccessible, the player can still make use of in-world cues such as maps and station signs to navigate the innards of D.C. The largest continuous set of tunnels allows the player to reach almost any neighborhood without needing to go above ground, negotiating derelict train tunnels and frequently passing through mingled areas such as collapsed basements and natural caves exposed within the decaying underground. This also helped us to contrast the overworld and underground of D.C. through gameplay. While the ruins of D.C. are overrun with supermutants and unchecked mercenary patrols, the underground areas are refuge to generally-weaker denizens such as feral ghouls and radroaches, though it is harder to avoid conflict in these claustrophobic confines."
  3. Pre-War advertisement.
  4. DCTA laser firearms protocol
  5. Hazmat disposal site L5
  6. Some feral ghouls wear 1st generation combat armor implying they were pre-War servicemen who underwent mutation.
  7. Bottom-left corner of the "Commuting Calamity" poster loading screen (high quality image)
  8. Prepare for the Future website - Metro advertisement
  9. In German, platz means place, and is a reference to metro stations in Vienna, many of them located under large plazas or open walkways.
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