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The Black Mesa Transit System, or tram, is the extensive monorail network linking the many different Sectors of the Black Mesa Research Facility. The Transit System is the primary form of transportation throughout the facility, which uses the monorail system, a transportation system based on a single beam. Provided for the security, comfort, and convenience of the Black Mesa personnel, residents, and visitors,[1][2] it is managed by the Black Mesa Transit Authority.[2]


Each train consists of a single monorail car driven automatically. It includes seats, a wheelchair space, windows, speakers, and an electric door. There are a total of 32 trams in the facility.

The Transit System is prominently featured in Half-Life and its expansions. Black Mesa employees use it to travel from their dormitories to their workplace, do their laundry, entertain themselves in recreation areas, or eat in food courts.

The protagonists of the game use the Transit System before and after the Black Mesa Incident to get around the facility. Gordon Freeman and Barney Calhoun, for example, ride a tram to work from their dormitories shortly before the incident. Adrian Shephard also briefly hitches a ride on a damaged tram before being left behind by the USMC.

After the Black Mesa Incident, the majority of the Transit System was in shambles, thus preventing the majority of the personnel from using it, like Gordon Freeman.

The Black Mesa Transit System should not be confused with the Sector E Materials Transport, the dilapidated freight monorail network.

Lines and other areas

Black Mesa Transit System map.

The network is divided into four colored lines linking the seven main Sectors, as well as other areas, and sub-lines. Each line serves three or four areas.[2]

Main colored lines

Red Line

Blue Line

Green Line

Yellow Line


Each Sector has apparently its line, a sub-line to the overall network. Only three are seen/mentioned during the games:

Sector B Line

Sector B Line passing by through the Area 8 Topside Dormitories.

A medium-security line where can be found the Area 9 Security Checkpoint, it is the line taken by Barney Calhoun from Area 8 Topside Dormitories through the East Personnel Entrance, and leading to Area 9 Central Transit Hub. Along Sector B Line can be seen a fast food outlet, a lab, and a lavomat.[2]

East Personnel Entrance

Connects Area 8 Topside Dormitories to the rest of the facility through the Transit System. Above it floats an orange flag of Black Mesa. Its name suggests there are other such entrances.[2]

Area 9 Security Checkpoint

Likely located not far from Area 9 Central Transit Hub, Area 9 Security Checkpoint is first seen during Barney Calhoun's tram ride at the start of Blue Shift. There Barney Calhoun leaves the line he took at Area 8 Topside Dormitories to the Sector C Line. Area 9 Security Checkpoint apparently acts as one of the many transit security checkpoints throughout the Transit System. Trams that pass through that checkpoint can be rerouted to the Sector B, C, and E Lines.[2]

Sector C Line

Gordon Freeman riding along the Sector C Line.

A medium-security line, it is connected to Area 9 Security Checkpoint, Level 3 Dormitories, Area 3 Medium Security Facilities, and Test Labs. Gordon Freeman and Barney Calhoun take it to reach their respective workplaces on the day of the Black Mesa Incident, Barney from Area 9 Security Checkpoint, Gordon from Level 3 Dormitories.[1][2] Before the Test Labs stop, the line passes beside another, leading to Level A of Sector E Subsurface Transport, and taken by Adrian Shephard after leaving the Infirmary.[3]

Sector E Line

Connected to Area 9 Security Checkpoint, it is located below the Sector B Line and above the Sector C Line. Its directions are unknown.[2]

Sector E Subsurface Transport

Level A of this Black Mesa Transit System section can be accessed from the Sector C Line, where the G-Man is first seen in Half-Life, and leads to an unnamed area where the first Shock Trooper and zombie security guards are encountered.[3]


Area 9 Central Transit Hub

Also named "Area 9 Transit Hub",[2] Area 9 Central Transit Hub[1] is only mentioned and never actually visited. It is apparently the only Transit System station where high-security trains can be boarded. Area 9 Central Transit Hub is also the original final destination of the tram used by Barney Calhoun through the Sector B Line, before it is rerouted to the Sector C Line. It is connected to the Blue Line of the Black Mesa Transit System.[4]

Behind the scenes

Half-Life and Blue Shift start on a tram that the player cannot leave before reaching the intended destination. This obligatory ride is mostly used to slowly immerse the player into the universe. The path from the City 17 Trainstation to Kleiner's Lab in Half-Life 2 has a similar purpose, although in that case it was made so that the story would unfold at the player's own speed rather than on a fixed rail.[5] The two Pod rides in Our Benefactors serve a similar purpose in the Citadel.



Half-Life: Opposing Force

Half-Life: Blue Shift

Half-Life: Decay

Signicon003a.png The following is a Work in Progress as it is in the middle of an expansion or major revamping.
You are welcome to assist in its construction by editing it as well. However, do not make major changes before consulting the community, since the related editors probably set up guidelines for the page construction.


  • The start of Half Life where the transit system is first introduced is roughly 3 minutes long
  • The transit system in Half Life is split up into multiple maps
  • Some models seen in the transit system are never used outside of it
  • The Black Mesa Announcement System's voice heavily implies that the Black Mesa Incident was planned to some degree

List of appearances


See also

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