The geek-favorite webcomic xkcd dove into transit geekery today with a comic that links together all of the North American heavy rail transit systems. It seems to be inspired by this map of unknown origin, which BeyondDC posted a few weeks ago and uses the same trick to link transit systems in geographically-impractical ways.

Image from xkcd. Click the image for larger version.


It improves upon the earlier one with some clever linkages and in-jokes, like an extension beyond Huntington to a “graveyard for passengers killed by closing doors.” (He actually probably meant doors that failed to close, but good enough.) Boston’s Cleveland Circle connects to Cleveland, and the Ashmont-Mattapan “high-speed [light rail] line” becomes the Ashmont-Manhattan and the NYC #1 train.

The Orange Line at New Carrollton meets Philadelphia’s Broad Street line, which is orange on the SEPTA maps, while the Red Line at Glenmont connects to PATCO (also colored red) via a “covertly-reurposed Amtrak line.” The Blue Line at Largo extends to the Staten Island Ferry as the “Robert Moses High-Speed Lne.”

The Green Line at Greenbelt attaches to the also-green Baltimore Metro with a little loop-the-loop, and the Shady Grove end of the Red Line attaches to MARTA via the Morgantown, WV automated line; Morgantown does indeed have an automated Personal Rapid Transit system.

What else do you see?

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Tagged: transit

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle.