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Metro Maintenance Will Cause Delays This Weekend

Another weekend of planned summer maintenance work is prompting Metro to advise Red, Orange and Green Line passengers that they should allow an additional 30 minutes of travel time this weekend.

From Friday at 10 p.m. until the stations close Sunday, Red Line trains going both directions will share a single track between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Friendship Heights. Crews are repairing a tunnel, replacing rail, and laying new rail fasteners, the agency said. The work will mean that Red Line trains will only run once every 20 minutes between Shady Grove and Medical Center.

During the same time period, Orange Line trains going both ways will share a track between East Falls Church and Ballston-MU. Crews plan to replace crossties.

On the Green Line, Friday from 8 p.m. until Sunday at 6 p.m., trains will share a single track between Georgia Ave-Petworth and Fort Totten. As a result, all Yellow Line trains will operate between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Sq-7th St Convention Center from 8 p.m. Friday to closing Sunday.

By James Hohmann  |  August 27, 2009; 12:43 PM ET
 | Tags: Metro, delays, red line, track work  
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Pardon my ignorance, but why does Metro repair so much on the weekends instead of including days during the week AFTER Metro has closed, isn't there a (small) window of opportunity to work on repairs then?

Posted by: ImWithStupid | August 27, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Will there be trains running between Brookland and Takoma this weekend?

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | August 27, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

This is EXACTLY the reason METRO should build a 3rd track, instead of a Silver Line to DULLES.

A 3rd track, will allow METRO to run maintenence on tracks, offer express train service, avoid jumpers, and broke down trains, while making METRO as a whole, more reliable to its users.

Posted by: Robbnitafl | August 27, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

ImWithStupid, trains are not running for about four hours on weekdays. Four hours is not necessarily even enough to set up for a short project and then break down the setup, and it's definitely not enough time to complete most work and get the tracks back in service. It's much more efficient to do the work in long blocks, when the equipment can remain at the site and the track being worked on can remain out of service. Weekends are the only times when that is even possible given customer volume.

You can argue that Metro should have built a 3-track system, but which 1/3 of the system would you have not built in order that the rest could be 3-track?

Posted by: dal20402 | August 27, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks dal20402 for your helpfulness.

Posted by: ImWithStupid | August 27, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

The problem with converting the existing system to a three-track design is the cost. Consider how much money it would take to expand the tubes, and to rebuild the stations, to make room for the additional tracks. I think that if they had that kind of money (which they don't) it would make more sense to build a separate tube across DC for the Blue Line so as to increase capacity on both the Blue and Orange Lines (and ultimately the Silver Line) and to serve areas that aren't served now. The money just isn't there, though.

What doesn't make sense is that the new trackage being built out to Dulles will be the same two-track design. Why stick with what's been proven to be a mistake? Yes, a third track would cost more to build, but the additional cost of building three tracks from the start is a lot less than the cost of trying to add extra tracks later. (At a minimum, I hope they add more pocket tracks on the new line so that broken-down trains can be shunted out of the way with minimal disruption.)

One would have thought that for tonight's work they might have waited a bit later due to the Redskin game, but I guess the work is far enough away that it ought not affect the trains in the immediate area of the stadium. Some riders are in for a nasty surprise when they think they're getting close to their home stations, though!

Posted by: 1995hoo | August 28, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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