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Metro plans Sept. maintenance

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The Red Line work that will close five Metrorail stations this weekend is the largest maintenance project the system has on the near horizon. However, some smaller projects will affect your travel during September. Here's a rundown of some work that starts this week:

Red Line
-- Trains between Shady Grove and Twinbrook rail stations will single-track on the following dates from 10 p.m. to closing: Wednesday and Thursday; Sept. 79; Sept. 13-16; Sept. 20-23; Sept. 26-30. Add at least 30 minutes. Workers will be repairing the platform at Rockville Station as part of Metro's Red Line Rehabilitation Project.
--Trains between the New York Avenue and Rhode Island stations will single-track on the following dates from 10 p.m. through closing: Wednesday and Thursday; Sept. 7-9; Sept. 13-16; Sept. 20-23; Sept. 26-30. Crews will be rebuilding some areas of track.

Blue Line
Trains between the Stadium-Armory and Addison Road stations will single-track from 10 p.m. through closing on the following dates: Wednesday and Thursday; Sept. 7-9; Sept. 12-16; Sept. 19-23; Sept. 26-30.

For more information on later dates, check the full schedule:
Weekend maintenance schedule | Weeknight schedule

By Michael Bolden  | August 31, 2010; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Orange Line, Red Line  
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I'm a little confused about the Red Line delays. If we are to add 30 minutes to our plans because of the single-tracking between Shady Grove and Twinbrook, then should we add another 30 minutes because of the single tracking between NY Avenue and Rhode Island stations? If so, because the times are the same for maintenance on both ends of the tracks, should we therefore add 60 minutes to any plans to use Red Line during the times and dates described?

Posted by: informedtraveller | August 31, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

informedtraveller, if you are only passing through one of the single tracking areas, 30 minutes should be sufficient. If passing through both (going from Silver Spring to Rockville for instance), I would say add about 40 minutes. I have ridden during these times the past couple of weeks and I would say at most my trip was only 10-15 minutes longer than normal.

It really ends up depending on when you catch a train. If you have to wait 20 minutes for a train and then the train you are on ends up sitting for 10 minutes waiting for the other train(s) to come through the single tracking area, the time really adds up. But if you don't have to wait long for a train and the train you are on has no waiting time (or very little) the time difference isn't that great. I would suggest using the next train feature on the WMATA mobile site or the DC Metro App if you have a smart phone to try to avoid just missing a train.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | August 31, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Metro should just close on weekends until they can get weekday service to work right.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 31, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, UMDTerpsGirl. For some reason I can never quite get this straight in my head and your well-thought-out post helps a lot. It sounds like the best thing to do would be for me to use the DC Rider App or mobile site (which I find is faster than the App) to see when the next train will be arriving during those busy times. However, for planning a week in advance, I wonder how much time I should add for a trip between Bethesda and Dupont Circle stations during the maintenance period. If trains normally come every 10-15 minutes that late at night, I suppose I would then add (worst case scenario) about 15 minutes to that for trains that are delayed by going through the single tracking before getting to me. Therefore I should expect 25-30 minute waits for a train. Hopefully that sounds right.

Posted by: informedtraveller | August 31, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

But what WMATA doesn't tell you is that even if you are NOT passing through the work area, you might still be affected. I had a FORTY MINUTE wait for a train at Dupont Circle two weeks ago from 12:35 to 1:15 AM due to trackwork on a Saturday. I just missed a train. The release from Metro for that weekend said nothing about waits of that length. When I emailed WMATA about it after the fact, I got what amounted to a form letter as a reply. I don't think Metro is doing nearly as badly as many people who frequent blogs and feel the need to complain about everything and anything they can on the internet, but WMATA really needs to improve their communication on these sorts of things. I'm willing to wait 20 minutes for a train, not not 40.

Posted by: FHMetro | August 31, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

FHMetro, the release for that weekend said to add 30 mins to your travel time. Waiting 20 minutes for a train at that time of night is not uncommon (I believe trains run 20 minutes apart at that time of night), so it looks like you had to wait an additional 20 minutes for your train, which is within the 30 minute additional time WMATA suggested. I agree it sucks though, but really highlights my point about how drastic travel times can be based on when you catch a train.

My delays of 10-15 mins were all in the afternoon or during the early evening (between 8 and 11pm). I also took the train from Fort Totten to Glenmont on Saturday night at 1:00am and only waited 10 minutes for a train. Not too bad for that time of night.

informedtraveller, if you are traveling late at night, your logic on times sounds right to me. But if you can use the next train info before going to the station (or as you are approaching to see if you need to hurry or not) you can save yourself some headaches. I rarely ever "just miss" a train anymore because I check the next train arrival times while walking up to the station or before I leave if I'm within a 10 minute walk to the station.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | August 31, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@UMDTerpsGirl - that's good advice - thanks! I feel that I can now once again live up to my Washington Post User ID name :)

Posted by: informedtraveller | August 31, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

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