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Remembering Former Purple Line NOW Board Member Keith Haller

We were shocked and saddened to learn this morning that longtime Purple Line supporter, former Purple Line NOW board member, Rockville resident, pollster, and dreamer of big dreams, Keith Haller passed away yesterday, far too soon, at age 70. We are still processing the news, but wanted to immediately express our gratitude for his support after the 2014 election, when he helped explain the value of the Purple Line to the incoming Governor and convey his grand vision for the bright economic future of the project. We also appreciate his role in supporting local media as a co-founder of Maryland Matters, which is already playing a vital role in covering local news in a time when such journalism is under threat or already lost in much of the nation. We regret that we won’t be able to take the first ride on the Purple Line with you, Keith, but your legacy will live on in your work to make our county more prosperous and better informed.

Reserve Your Seat NOW - Space is Limited!

If you haven't already done so, please mark your calendar for the next Purple Line NOW forum on January 10, 2019, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at City Hall in College Park.

Attendance, as always, is free and open to the public and media, but your seat must be reserved in advance. Seating is limited to the first 100 folks with reservations, so make sure to save your seat.

Plan to come and hear what is happening right now in College Park and what is on the horizon once the project is completed. The speakers for this forum will include College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn, Purple Line Transit Partners CEO Fred Craig, Assistant Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George's County Economic Development & Public Infrastructure Bradley Frome, Associate Vice President, Facilities Management, for University of Maryland University College George Trujillo, and Anna McLaughlin, Assistant Director – Sustainability, UMD Department of Transportation Services. As you can see, this is going to be a very informative evening for the community and we hope you will join us!

Media is invited and inquiries can be made to Christine Scott,[email protected].

Please Consider Becoming a Purple Line NOW Sponsor

Purple Line NOW exists because generous individuals, businesses, and organizations support us by becoming a sponsor of the Envisioning the Purple Line series. The financial support we receive from your sponsorship allows us to put on these events, provide educational newsletters and information about ongoing construction issues, and keep abreast of any hurdles along the way.

Please take a moment to become a sponsor - your name will appear at all events and on all promotional materials for a year following your donation. The benefits of sponsorship are listed on our website and donating is easy - just follow this link: I'd like to become a sponsor! There are several levels of sponsorship - and we appreciate them all! Thank you for considering us in your holiday giving this year - we appreciate you more than you know.





Have You Heard About the Purple Line’s Railcars?

We have been updating you for several months about the construction of tunnels and right-of-ways for the Purple Line. However, one of the most exciting things for us are the railcars themselves, as the rails alone don’t transport you anywhere! The biggest news about the railcars themselves is the innovative design that came out of the contract competition. As you might remember, Maryland paid each of the companies a fee so that they could keep the best ideas from each proposal. One of the more inventive ideas was to use only a single modular railcar rather than two railcars, back-to-back, which is the default for light rail systems around the country. This style is increasingly common in railcars, including heavy rail, around the world but new to the United States.

These open gangways mean about 10% more capacity for the cars, which holds 80 people seated and up to 431 people shoulder-to-shoulder. There’s also planned wall racks for bikes to allow them to fit in even when the trains are crowded. The railcars' maximum speed is 50 miles per hour, with an average speed of 20 miles per hour across the 90% dedicated right of way. At 136 feet across five modules, the Purple Line will have the longest railcars in America as reported by Greater Greater Washington. The manufacturer is the Spanish firm CAF which also made the Cincinnati streetcar. The steel frames are fabricated in Spain and then shipped to Elmira, New York for assembly. There’s a drive test track in New York to test them on, but final testing after assembly will be at the Glendridge yard in Prince George’s County.

We had an early peek at the arriving railcar frames on Twitter. At the last Envisioning the Purple Line forum in July, Fred Craig, CEO of Purple Line Transit Partners, gave a positive update on the manufacturing process and commented on how quiet the light rail vehicles are. He compared the noise they produce to that of an electric car, though of course they will have bells and other options to make noise when needed. Fred Craig also compared the cars to rolling computers and we look forward to sharing more with you about their features as we learn more. Towards the end of 2019, we’ll have a chance to see them in action, running back and forth on a test track at the Glenridge facility.




Just a note - the next edition of the Purple Line Now NEWS will be delivered on January 9, 2019. In the meantime, we wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season. Once again, a great big thank you for your interest and your time in making this project come to life!



Please feel free to share this bi-weekly newsletter with others who may appreciate information about the project. As always, if you have any feedback on how we can improve the newsletter, drop us a line! 

If you find the information contained in our newsletter useful, please consider a donation to us - we are a not-for-profit organization with an active group of volunteers and one quarter-time employee. We operate on a bare-bones budget and appreciate every donation we receive.

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