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Weekend Work Announcements

We have some of the weekend travel advisories that our traffic and transit agencies issue each Thursday. This one is about Metrorail work that will slow service on the Red, Orange and Green lines this weekend. Look below for another one about work at the Springfield Interchange.

This is the advisory from Metro:
Orange Line Track Maintenance
On Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Orange Line trains will share one track between Ballston-MU and
East Falls Church-VT/UVA because of track maintenance. Passengers traveling on this portion of the Orange Line should add 15 to 20 minutes of travel time for their trip.

Red Line Track Maintenance
On Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Red Line trains will share one track between Silver Spring and Fort Totten because of track maintenance. Passengers traveling on this portion of the Red Line should add up to 15 minutes of travel time for their trip.

Green Line Rail Car Tests
On Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Green Line trains will share one track between the Greenbelt and College Park Metrorail stations while Metro tests rail cars. Passengers traveling along this portion of the Green Line should add up to 10 minutes of travel time for their trip.

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2006; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Weekend Work  
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Comments

I think the big problem with Metro is the "dwell" time at the stations. For some reason they didn't put enough doors on the cars so people have difficulty getting on and off. That makes the dwell time longer, which makes the overall travel time longer and delays all of the trains. It makes very inefficient use of the tunnels and stations. I think New York has more doors and their dwell time is shorter. (i.e. They load and unload faster). You get less seats but the ride is shorter so standing isn't as big a deal. Also you can get more runs out of each train so the frequency can increase for the same cost of operations. Sydney got their dwell time down real low for the Olympics. I think it was less than a minute.

Hopefully the next car order that Metro does will include more doors and less seats or they should look into retrofitting the existing cars.

Also why don't they run the Virginia Commuter trains through to Maryland and the Maryland MARC commuter trains through to Virginia. That way you could go straight from Gaithersburg, Rockville, Silver Spring, New Carrollton, or even Baltimore to L'enfant plaza or Alexandria and vice versa with less stops and no transfers. I think the Paris RER works that way.

Finally think about running 10 car trains and have the two cars on each end alternate stopping at station platforms. New York does that for their long trains at their short station platforms. AMTRAK does it too.

All in all DC could easily improve thier system operation and capacity with a little tweaking.

Mark Jolles
mjolles@pacbell.net

Posted by: Mark Jolles | June 25, 2006 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Am I dreaming or is Metro scheduling work on the 4th of July weekend when the city is packed with tourists? Another display of smart planning...

Posted by: tdp | June 26, 2006 10:20 PM | Report abuse

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