Maryland Officials Release New Video of Purple Line Railcars

The Maryland Department of Transportation published a video last week showing Purple Line train cars en route to the area.

The east-west line has 21 stations and covers a distance of 16.2 miles, connecting the New Carrollton Metro Station in Prince George’s County to the Bethesda Metro Station in Montgomery County and providing links to Metro, MARC, Amtrak, and local bus lines.

The video posted by MDOT officials on social media last Thursday stated that the trains will arrive in the area this year.

Delays and cost overruns have plagued the construction of the Purple Line, which was originally scheduled to open last year but is now delayed to 2027. In 2016, a federal judge halted the environmental approval for the Purple Line. The issue was later resolved through a lawsuit in favor of the project, as reported by MoCo360. However, construction fell behind by 11 months. Then, in 2020, the design-build contractor pulled out of the project.

For two years, Purple Line construction sites remained inactive until a new contractor was hired in 2022.

MDOT officials said that the delay happened because of challenges in relocating utilities, the complexities of construction in a crowded urban area, and national workforce and supply chain issues at the time.

“Updating the schedule to reflect the challenges we are facing on the project is an important step in accountability and delivering a project that the region can be proud of,” Maryland Transit Administrator Holly Arnold said last year. “We are thankful to our partners and the community for their support and patience as we work to complete the Purple Line.”

Last summer, the Board of Public Works, consisting of three members, approved an additional $148 million in payments to Purple Line Transit Partners for construction delays and associated cost overruns.

Maryland Matters reported last year that the panel, which includes Comptroller Brooke Lierman and Treasurer Dereck Davis, voted unanimously to approve the contract modification.

Governor Wes Moore promised to move the project forward while keeping additional expenses to a minimum.

“This is important because it checks off a whole collection of boxes,” Moore said last July. “And so our administration will complete this project. But we will complete it in a fiscally responsible manner. While we’re also ensuring that we’re being fair and transparent with our project partners. And we will hold ourselves and our partners accountable for completing this project with a focus on transparency.”

The cost of the Purple Line has now reached $9.4 billion over the contract period of more than three decades, according to Maryland Matters.

MTA Photo

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