PLANS are taking shape for a light rail line in the heart of Washington DC as work forges ahead on a 4·3 km pilot project in the suburb of Anacostia.

Director of the District of Columbia's Department of Transportation Dan Tangherlini expects to have light rail services running between Pennsylvania Avenue and Bolling Air Force Base by early 2007 (MR 05 p49). DCDoT and WMATA are buying three Inekon Trio low-floor cars as an option on the latest order for the Portland Streetcar network. LTK is assisting with procurement and design of the overhead line equipment.

DCDoT expects to invite bids in mid-2006 for a $50m reconstruction of a 5·6 km section of H Street and Benning Road in the northeast of the city, between Union Station and Minnesota Avenue. Served by two busy bus routes, the corridor had been identified for a potential light rail line. Co-ordinator of the Great Streets Project Karina Ricks said in January that agreement had been reached with neighbourhood leaders for the tracks to be laid as part of the road works, although Tangherlini warned that it could be up to five years before light rail services begin.