United States Capitol Subway
Washington, District of Columbia
United States Capitol Subway Washington Reviews
Riding the Senate and House Subways Aug 21, 2009
Underneath the US Capitol building runs one of the more unusual transit systems that you'll encounter. Linking the Capitol building to the Congressional office buildings are the Senate Subway and House Subway. These are functional transit systems, meant to transport Members of Congress and their staffs quickly from offices to the Capitol for voting sessions and hearings. However, the general public can ride the system, too. (You may need to be on a tour or escorted by someone with an approriate ID, though.)
There are three separate systems. The House Subway runs from the Rayburn House Office Bulding to the House wing of the Capitol. The Senate Subway has two lines--one from the Russell Senate Office Building and one from the Dirksen and Hart Senate Office Buildings to the Capitol. The Rayburn and Russell lines have open tram-like vehicles while the Dirken/Hart line is similar to an automated airport people mover.
The Seante Subway dates to 1909, but the House Subway, installed in 1965 with the completion of the Rayburn Bulding, is more recent. A samll display on its history is in the Russell Building. (The Capitol Subway is not related to the Washington Metro subway system and is not connected to it.)
It's best to ride the Capitol Subway when Congress is not in session. You may want to ride just for the experience and to say you've been on it--railfans and transit enthusiasts definitely will want to experience all three lines. Or, you may want to rides the Senate Subway to have lunch in one of the Senate cafeterias. In any case, it's different!
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