On Tuesday, we featured the 139th challenge to see how well you know the Metro system. Here are the answers. How'd you do?
This week, we got 12 guesses. Just two of you got all five. Great work AlexC and Peter K!
The first image shows a picture looking up the staircase to the platform from the north mezzanine at King Street. This is one of two stations with an Alexandria Peak style canopy, which you can see above the stairs. The canopy is peaked down the middle with gently sloping sides. Along the ridgeline of the roof, skylights let in natural light.
The north entrance to King Street was added after the station opened, and to access it, the platform was extended north, with railings separating the walkway from the tracks. The stairs are off-center to allow for a dual elevator bank to the west. Because the stairs are off center, the skylight keeps sloping upward toward the top right of the picture. The Largo/Mount Vernon Square track is at upper left.
Six of you knew this one.
The second image shows a view of the trainroom at Potomac Avenue station. This is one of 32 Waffle-style stations. It's also one of the seven stations that have been painted—that should have been a major clue to narrow the field.
The other clue was the arrangement of the escalator and elevator side-by-side. That is extremely rare in Metro, and in this case, it's the way to definitively say that this is Potomac Avenue. As AlexC noted in the comments, Waterfront has a similar design, but the elevator is next to a stairway, rather than an escalator. Waterfront also remains unpainted.
Three of you got this one right.
The third image shows the platform stair at Court House. This one was a bit of a challenge, but the process of elimination should have helped you get to the correct answer. Like Potomac Avenue, this is one of the 32 Waffle stations, but it's one of the 25 that has not been painted. Noting that it's an island platform station further narrows the field to just 13 stations. Finally, the presence of a Vienna train narrows this to the six stations of that set where the Orange Line calls.
Those six stations are Court House, Federal Triangle, Foggy Bottom, L'Enfant Plaza (lower level), Metro Center (lower level), and Stadium/Armory. Because Jackson Graham, the first General Manager of WMATA, wanted all vertical circulation in Metro to be by escalator, few of the older stations have any staircases. And all six of these stations are from Metro's early days. Except for Court House, which opened in 1979, the others opened in 1977. (Yes, I know that Metro Center's upper level opened in 1976. The subject lower level opened in 1977. Don't @ me.)
Of the six stations, only Metro Center and Court House even have stairs. The other stations only have escalators and elevators. And this can't be Metro Center because the stairway at Metro Center is significantly wider than the narrow stair pictured here at Court House.
Four of you figured this one out.
The fourth image also featured a platform staircase. Like Potomac Avenue, this is one of the seven painted stations. As noted with regard to the Court House image, few stations have stairways. Of the seven painted stations, Archives, Eastern Market, Farragut North, Federal Center SW, and Potomac Avenue do not have any stairs. That leaves Capitol South and Union Station. At Union Station, the stairway is adjacent to an escalator and projects out from the end of a floating mezzanine rather than descending from the center of it.
Two of you guessed correctly.
The final image shows the Western Avenue mezzanine at Friendship Heights. Again, this is one of only a few locations where an elevator is adjacent to an escalator. To further narrow things down, it's located in the center of a mezzanine rather than at the end, like is the case at Potomac Avenue. The architectural style here is Arch I (though from the picture, it may be hard to distinguish it from Arch II). Either way, there are just 12 Arch I and Arch II stations, so you should have been able to narrow it down a bit. You could have narrowed it to seven stations if you'd correctly identified Arch I.
Regardless, no other of those stations has an elevator plus escalator setup like this.
Seven of you came to the correct conclusion.
Great work, everyone. Thanks for playing! We'll be back in two weeks with challenge #139.
Information about contest rules, submission guidelines, and a leaderboard is available at http://ggwash.org/whichwmata.