Metro’s maintenance program will disrupt only two lines this weekend. I say “only,” because the disruptions have been much more extensive on other weekends.
The Red and Orange lines are the ones affected between 10 p.m. Friday and the rail system’s midnight closing on Sunday. In both cases, the lines will be split, and free shuttle buses will bridge the gaps in train service.
Nowhere in the rail system is Metro using its other technique in which trains share tracks around work zones. Sometimes, the nature of the project determines the choice, and sometimes it’s the type of disruption that would be caused by one method or another.
Riders would prefer no disruptions, but when they have to endure them, they are divided on which is most onerous. Many have written in to say the shuttle bus systems work quite efficiently on the weekends. On the parts of the lines that remain open, the schedules tend to be close to the normal level of weekend service.
On the other hand, it means the riders must leave a train, go outside into whatever the weather happens to be, wait to board a bus, then board another train when the bus ride is done.
Single-tracking means a rider gets to keep the same seat all the way. But it makes the schedule much less certain, especially when a rider has to change trains.
The pattern for this weekend means the western end of the Orange line train service will be at East Falls Church. The Red Line will operate trains between Glenmont and Fort Totten and between Union Station and Shady Grove. Here are the details.
Buses will replace trains between Fort Totten and Union Station while crews work on tie and insulator renewal and install fiber optic cable. Other crews with the District Department of Transportation will be working on the New York Avenue Bridge over the tracks north of Union Station.
Between Glenmont and Fort Totten and between Union Station and Shady Grove, trains are scheduled to operate every 10 minutes during daytime hours and at regular weekend intervals at other times, Metro said.
The buses will carry passengers between Fort Totten and Union Station. Brookland, Rhode Island Avenue, and NoMa-Gallaudet U (formerly New York Avenue) will be closed.
Express buses will serve Fort Totten and Union Station only. A ride on the express will add about 20 minutes to normal travel time between the stations, Metro estimated.
Local buses will stop at all stations between Fort Totten and Union Station. Taking a local all the way would add about half an hour to normal travel time.
A rider could use the Green Line between Fort Totten and downtown stations to avoid the bus trip.
Buses will replace trains between the end of the line at Vienna and East Falls Church. Crews on the Silver Line project will be testing in the area where the new line will link with the Orange Line. Metro crews will be working on rail ties and insulators along the Orange Line.
Trains will operate between East Falls Church and New Carrollton on their regular weekend schedule, Metro said.
Buses will replace the trains between Vienna and East Falls Church. Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church will be closed.
Express shuttle buses will operate between Vienna and East Falls Church. Using those buses probably will add 15 minutes to normal travel times. Local shuttles will stop at all stations along the way. A trip all the way on one of those will add about 40 minutes to normal travel time.
Riders who normally would park at one of the closed stations might want to drive in to East Falls Church station, which has more than 400 parking spaces.