Metrorail on holiday break from major weekend work


Riders like these passing through Metro Center don’t need to plan for weekend maintenance delays, but there will be some delays on the Green Line. (Linda Davidson — The Washington Post)

A traveler from Montgomery County wrote in to say that she and her husband have tickets for a Saturday afternoon show at the Shakespeare Theater. They live equidistant from the Twinbrook and Glenmont stations on Metro’s Red Line and plan to take the train to Gallery Place.

She said they prefer to leave from Twinbrook, but needed advice on which side of the Red Line would be less disrupted by maintenance work this weekend. This was a smart question, because on many weekends this year, Metrorail service has been busted up by major maintenance projects. These can shut several stations, requiring riders to get off a train, onto a shuttle bus, then back onto a train.

So I was able to share with her the good news that Metro has no weekend work scheduled for the Red Line for the remaining two weekends of 2012. The only work scheduled for these upcoming weekends is on the Green Line. From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on those Saturdays and Sundays, Green Line trains will share a track between Greenbelt and College Park. (Metro is building a test track in that area for the new 7000 series rail cars.)

During those work hours, every other train will begin or end its run at College Park, rather than Greenbelt. Between College Park and Branch Avenue, train service will follow its normal weekend pattern. Add about 10 minutes to the normal travel time through the work zone.

This is the usual holiday break for the maintenance program. It will restart on the weekend of Jan. 4-6. The major event that weekend will be on the Orange Line, where buses will  replace trains between Ballston and Vienna. The following weekend, buses will replace Blue Line trains between Rosslyn and Pentagon. The next weekend is the presidential inauguration weekend, and no major work is scheduled. But on Jan. 26-27, a major project is scheduled for the Red Line through downtown D.C.: Buses will replace trains between Dupont Circle and Rhode Island Avenue.

Holiday service

Metro plans regular weekday service for Monday, Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day: Metrobus and Metrorail will operate on a Sunday schedule, with the rail system open from 7 a.m. to midnight; MetroAccess subscription trips are cancelled.

On New Year’s Eve, Metrorail and Metrobus will operate regular weekday service, but the rail system will stay open two hours later than normal, closing at 2 a.m. (The last-train times at individual stations vary. Check the normal last-train time for your station on a week night and add two hours to that.)

New Year’s Day: Metrorail and Metrobus will operate on a Sunday schedule, with the rail system open from 7 a.m. to midnight. MetroAccess subscription trips are cancelled.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.

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Robert Thomson · December 19, 2012

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