A view of the MetroLink system passing through Belleville, Illinois.
|Locale||St. Louis Metropolitan Area|
|Transit type||Light rail|
|Number of lines||2|
|Number of stations||37|
|Daily ridership||51,716 (FY 2010)|
|Headquarters||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Began operation||July 31, 1993|
|Operator(s)||Metro aka Bi-State Development Agency|
|Number of vehicles||87|
|Train length||2 Articulated Vehicles|
|System length||46 miles (74.0 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)|
|Electrification||Overhead lines, 750 V DC|
|Average speed||24.7 mph (39.8 km/h)|
|Top speed||65 mph (105 km/h)|
MetroLink (reporting mark BSDA) is the light rail transit system in the Greater St. Louis area of Missouri and the Metro East area of Illinois. The entire system currently consists of two lines (Red Line and Blue Line) connecting Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Shrewsbury, MO with Scott Air Force Base near Shiloh, Illinois through downtown St. Louis. The system features 37 stations and carries an average of 51,716 people each weekday.
A second line, the "Cross-County Extension," now known as the Blue Line, opened to the public August 26, 2006Washington University, Clayton, the popular Saint Louis Galleria shopping center and Shrewsbury to the system. Further extensions are under study, but no alignments have yet been chosen, engineered or funded.. This 8-mile (12.9 km), nine-station line connects
Construction on the initial MetroLink alignment from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to the 5th & Missouri station in East St. Louis began in 1990. The portion between North Hanley and 5th & Missouri stations opened in July 31, 1993 , and the line was extended westward to Lambert Airport Main station in 1994. At that time another station, East Riverfront, was opened in East St. Louis. Four years later, in 1998, the Lambert Airport East station was added. The capital cost to build the initial phase of MetroLink was $465 million. Of that amount, $348 million was supplied by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
MetroLink exceeded pre-opening ridership estimates, but the system has expanded slowly. Construction on proposed extensions has been delayed by the increasing scarcity of FTA funds. As time has passed, an ever-greater share of the costs has been borne by state and local governments. The most recent work has been entirely funded by local dollars.
Construction on the St. Clair County MetroLink extension from the 5th & Missouri station to the College station in Belleville began in 1998 and opened in May 2001. The extension added eight new stations and seven park-ride lots. The total project cost was $339.2 million, with the FTA and St. Clair County Transit District sharing the burden at 72% ($243.9 million) and 28% ($95.2 million), respectively. Local funding was provided by the St. Clair County Transit District as a result of a 1/2 cent sales tax passed in November 1993.
In May 2003, a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) extension from Southwestern Illinois College to Shiloh-Scott station opened. This $75 million project was funded by a $60 million grant from the Illinois FIRST (Fund for Infrastructure, Roads, Schools, and Transit) Program and $15 million from the St. Clair County Transit District.
The recent Cross-County Extension project was funded by a $430 million Metro bond issue. Metro cited repeated delays and cost overruns as its reasons for firing its general contractor in Summer 2004. The contractor, itself a coalition of four general contractors (Cross County Collaborative), in turn cited excessive change orders by Metro as the cause of the problems. After firing the general contractor, Metro functioned as its own general contractor on the project. Metro sued the Collaborative for $81 million for fraud and mismanagement. The Collaborative counter-sued for $17 million for work that Metrolink hadn't yet paid for. On December 1, 2007, the jury voted in favor of the Cross County Collaborative, awarding them $2.56 million for work as yet unpaid for.
The rail portion of the extension opened to the public August 26, 2006Brentwood I-64 station opened on June 12, 2007 . The garage parks 1000 cars where riders can park for free., and a parking garage at the
On October 27, 2008Emerson Park to Fairview Heights. All trains have a red or blue sign on the front that identify the train as a Red Line or Blue Line train, and all operators make station announcements identifying the Red Line or Blue Line., Metro renamed the two MetroLink lines using color designations: the Lambert Airport branch was renamed to the Red Line; the Shrewsbury branch, the Blue Line. Service was also extended on the Blue Line from its former terminus at
Below is a chronological list of dates on which specific portions of the MetroLink system opened for service.
|July 31, 1993||Line opens between North Hanley and 5th & Missouri||16||13.9 miles (22.4 km)|
|May 14, 1994||East Riverfront opens between existing stations||1||—|
|June 25, 1994||Extension to Lambert Airport Main opens||1||3.15 miles (5.1 km)|
|December 23, 1998||Lambert Airport East opens between existing stations||1||—|
|May 5, 2001||Extension to College opens||8||17.4 miles (28.0 km)|
|June 23, 2003||Extension to Shiloh-Scott opens||1||3.5 miles (5.6 km)|
|August 26, 2006||Extension to Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44 opens||9||7.5 miles (12.1 km)|
|Total||37||46 miles (74.0 km)|
The main Metrolink alignment begins at Lambert St. Louis International Airport, making stops at the main and east terminals. It then proceeds through Kinloch before making a stop North Hanley in Bel-Ridge. It then makes two stops (UMSL North & South stations) at the University of Missouri St. Louis located in Normandy. Following that, it makes stops in Pagedale at St. Charles Rock Road and in Wellston, before crossing the county line at Skinker Boulevard; and making a stop at Delmar Boulevard, serving the popular Delmar Loop area that straddles the St Louis/University City border. It meets up with the Blue Line at the Forest Park- DeBaliviere station. From this station on till the Fairview Heights station, it shares tracks with the Blue Line. For the rest of the Red Line see "Shared alignment".
The Blue Line starts in Shrewsbury just to the west of River des Peres. It crosses Interstate 44 and then continues northeast till the next 2 stations located in Maplewood, one at the Sunnen Industrial Complex, the other at Manchester Road. From there it continues north to the Brentwood I-64 station located in Brentwood just south of Interstate 64. It then proceeds underneath Interstate 64, continuing to the Richmond Heights station in Richmond Heights. This station serves the popular St. Louis Galleria shopping center. Following that it proceeds to Clayton Central station in Clayton, serving the Central Business District of St. Louis County. From here it continues in a tunnel right under Forest Park Parkway, making stops at Forsyth Boulevard and Big Bend Boulevard in University City, serving Washington University. It then makes a stop at Skinker Boulevard in St. Louis City, before meeting the Red Line at Forest Park DeBaliviere station. For the rest of the Blue Line, see "Shared alignment".
Both MetroLink lines meet at the Forest Park-Debaliviere station and continue for fourteen more stations east on shared tracks until the Blue Line terminates at Fairview Heights.
From the Forest Park station the trains continue to the Central West End station, serving the Barnes-Jewish Hospital complex and the popular Euclid Avenue shopping district. From there it proceeds to the Grand station under the Grand Boulevard viaduct, which services the Saint Louis University complex and hospital. The trains pass under the Jefferson Avenue viaduct before they enter the next station near Union Station, located underneath 18th Street just near the popular Union Station shopping mall. A short distance later the trains stop at the Civic Center Station, with transfer to the Gateway Transportation Center and the Scottrade Center. The trains then continue to run parallel under the 14th Street and Tucker Boulevard viaducts to the elevated section of Interstate 64 till the Busch Stadium station, originally serving the old, and now the new Busch Stadium. The trains continue underground through a series of abandoned railway tunnels, with stations at 8th & Pine streets, and the Convention Center under Washington Avenue and 6th Street, serving the Edward Jones Dome and Convention Center. It then makes stops on both sides of the Eads Bridge at Arch-Laclede's Landing station and at the East Riverfront station in East St. Louis, which serves the Casino Queen Gambling Casino & Hotel. From there it runs at-grade from the 5th & Missouri station till the Fairview Heights station in Fairview Heights, IL. Here the Blue line trains terminate, and the Red line trains continue till the line terminus at Shiloh-Scott AFB station at the gate to the base in Shiloh, Illinois.
MetroLink operates a fleet of 87 light-rail vehicles composed of 31 SD-400 and 56 SD-460 vehicles. Each 90-foot (27,432 mm), single articulated vehicle has 4 high platform doors per side and has a capacity of 72 seated and 106 standing passengers. The cars are powered by an electric motor which gets its electricity from a catenary wire with a 750 volt supply.
Each car has an enclosed operator cab at each end. This allows the most flexible system for managing operations, but prevents travel between cars except at stations. Each car also has separate doors for station level and track level access. In normal operations the track level doors (equipped with stairs) are unused.
The system also has two different railroad yards along the line for the storage and maintenance of light-rail vehicles: Ewing Yard is located between the Grand and Union Station stops just west of downtown St. Louis; 29th Street Yard is located between the JJK and Washington Park stops in Illinois. On October 27, 2009, Metro had recently opened a paint booth facility on the Illinois railyard in East St. Louis, IL.
|Unit Type||Year Built||Quantity||Numbers|
|Siemens SD400 LRV||1991–1993||31||1001–1031|
|Siemens SD460 LRV||1999||10||2001–2010|
|Siemens SD460 LRV||2000||24||3001-3024|
|Siemens SD460 LRV||2004–2005||22||4001-4022|
MetroLink uses a proof-of-payment system. Tickets can be purchased at ticket vending machines at the entrance to all stations and must be validated before boarding the train. Effective January 1, 2009 , the fares are as follows:
Reduced fares can be purchased by seniors ages 65+, people with disabilities, and children ages 5–12. Children younger than 5 years of age ride free. Proof of age may be requested of all people riding with reduced fares. Weekly and monthly passes are also available in addition to the fares listed above.
The idea of MetroLink has been around for more than 20 years in the region. There have been plans and priorities that have been laid out for the region since 1989. These priorities are determined by a System Analysis for a region which is required by the federal government. The East-West Gateway Council of Governments conducted a System Analysis in 1989 in the St. Louis region and determined that there were three tiers of priorities for MetroLink expansion for the region.
These extensions may increase the MetroLink light rail system with as much as 80 miles (130 km) of trackage.
The 12-mile (19 km) extension starts north from Downtown St Louis further northwest to the Florissant Valley Community College. A study for this extension was completed in 2008 and a Locally Preferred Alternative selected.
|Rapid Transit Systems – St. Louis Photographs of the MetroLink system.|
|Railroad Picture Archives: MetroLink – MetroLink photographs at Railroad Picture Archives.|
|Skips Railroad Depot MetroLink Photo Page|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: St. Louis MetroLink|
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