This State Has the Longest Escalator in the Western Hemisphere

Don't look down!

If you have a fear of heights, you might want to stay away from the Washington, DC, Metro line. Escalators in the system have a reputation for being way, way higher than your typical staircase.

Step out from the subway at Wheaton Station in Wheaton-Glenmont, Maryland, and you’ll be greeted with the highest escalator in the country—not to mention the entire Western Hemisphere, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Not too shabby! (Here are more of the craziest world records in all 50 states.)

The system, which is technically three escalators with no break in between, runs 230 feet long and rises 115 feet up, according to WJLA. To put that in perspective, a typical mall escalator is 15 feet high, making this Metro station one about eight times higher than average. Standing still while you ride will take just under three minutes to get from top to bottom. Still, find out why you shouldn’t bother walking up an escalator.

With such a massive escalator, technical issues aren’t uncommon. They’re out of order about 10 percent of the year, and the Metro system offers buses to other stations nearby when that happens, according to the Washington Post. (Find out how more of the world’s biggest monuments are cleaned.)

Wheaton Station isn’t the DC Metro area’s only jaw-dropping escalator. Spanning 213 feet and rising 106 feet, the escalator built in the Bethesda, Maryland, station in March 2017 ranks just behind Wheaton as second longest in the West. (Clearly Maryland has more record-setting moving staircases than this state that only has two escalators.) Still, neither can compare to the world’s longest escalator in Moscow’s Park Pobedy metro station, which is about 425 feet long.

Sounds like the “stand on the right, walk on the left” rule that Washingtonians are notorious for is especially relevant in those long stretches. If you decide to skip the escalators entirely and find an elevator, make sure you follow these 11 modern elevator etiquette rules.

[Source: Greater Greater Washington]

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Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.