QUENTINSBURGH- At a public meeting at the Quentinsburgh Convention Center in Downtown today, QUARTA, the area’s rapid transit authority, revealed plans and timelines for the completion and opening of several QLine Metro extensions.
Today was the first day QUARTA formerly released a solid plan and timeline for the brand new Line 12, as well as a new extension of Line 9 into Meisler and Horizon Springs.
Line 12 will run with the line 9 along Hinespoint Rd from Northern Quentinsburgh through downtown Northcross, and then branch off to connect to the under construction Line 7 extension to run through Berkeley Ridge, and then finally the line will switch to Line 4 tracks in Caroll Hill to terminate in Franklin Hill.
This actually restores and improves on the service provided by the short lived original line 12 that was operational for a short period of time in 2015, which ran along line 4 tracks between Northcross and Franklin Hill. The line was originally temporary, running along an extension of track between downtown Northcross and the Line 4 curve near Greendale Meadows, until line 13 was completed to serve the area, rendering the original 12 unnecessary and redundant. This will be the first Northcross-Caroll Hill-Franklin Hill local service since.
The Line 9 extension to Horizon Springs has been in the works for several years, originally having been a plan for an extended Hinespoint line 10 (before it was eliminated in early 2016 and replaced by a longer Line 9). The line would continue east out of Northcross, turning to serve the growing town of Meisler and terminating in Horizon Springs. The plan had been discussed during the planning for the Line 14 (then Line 6) extension to Haroldsborough, but at the time it was decided that there wasn’t enough density or demand at the time.
QUARTA seems to have changed their mind on that. In the released statement and in a short post on TweetBook, they cited “the need for investment while finances are good and funding is still abundant”. The extension will be built in two phases, the stretch to Meisler (2018) and the extension to Horizon Springs (2022).
Both lines have an unusual yet helpful thing going for them. The extension of Line 9 to Meisler and the stretch of construction through Northcross for Line 12 are both running in areas currently relatively undeveloped. This creates opportunities for transit oriented development, makes station location selection simpler, and eases construction considering it will not be a hindrance to traffic or have to deal with dense areas. This is the reason those stretches are expected to be built much quicker. The Phase II extension to Horizon Springs is running through a mostly developed area, requiring much more work to complete.
Firstly, the section of track that will be focused on is a bridge where line 9 will enter Meisler. The short stretch is the most complicated, expensive, and difficult to build portion of the entire line, having to deal with an entirely new bridge over a creek and nearby ravines.
QUARTA released a timeline of all the QLine extensions in planning or under construction right now at the meeting as well, which reads as follows:
January 2017– Line 14 extension to Haroldsborough (under construction)
Mid 2017- Line 6 extension to Sandboro (under construction) , Line 7 to Berkeley Ridge (under construction) set to open
Early 2018- Line 9 extension to Meisler to open (phase I of line 9 extension) (construction to start July 2016)
Late 2018– Completed Line 12 to begin operation (construction to start July 2016)
2022– Line 10 Phase I to begin operation (in planning) , Line 9 extension to Horizon Springs (in planning)
2026– Line 10 to be completed (in planning)
Station locations in Meisler and Horizon Springs are still being finalized. Residents will be invited to public meetings in their towns this coming month. A meeting in Northern Quentinsburgh will also be there to answer any questions about line 12.
(Station locations along the new Line 10 will also have meetings in July in downtown, central, and northern Quentinsburgh, as well as one in Matherspark Village.)