Metro greets new year with resumption of weekend track work


Metro’s track work program will delay travelers this weekend on the Red and Orange lines. (Susan Biddle – For The Washington Post)

After a holiday break, Metrorail’s extensive maintenance program is scheduled to resume this weekend on the Red and Orange lines. Disruptions will begin at 10 p.m. Friday and continue through the rail system’s midnight closing Sunday. Activity will continue most weekends this month but will pause for the presidential inauguration.

Here are the details for this coming weekend.

Red Line: Trains will share tracks between Shady Grove and Twinbrook and between Judiciary Square and Rhode Island Avenue. They will leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont about every 24 minutes. Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, more trains will operate between Grosvenor and Judiciary Square. So in the middle of the line, trains should reach platforms about every 12 minutes.

Add about 15 minutes to normal travel times to get through either of the work zones.

Orange Line: Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Vienna and East Falls Church. (It’s one of the many disruptions along this track segment to prepare for the start of Silver Line service, which could begin late this year.)

Trains will operate on their normal weekend schedules between East Falls Church and New Carrollton. The shuttle buses between Vienna and East Falls Church will operate on two routes.

Express buses will serve the Vienna and East Falls Church stations only. Add about 15 minutes to normal travel time on this route. A local route also will include stops at Dunn Loring and West Falls Church. Metro estimates the travel time between each station at 15 minutes.

Other January weekends

Major track work, in which buses replace trains on some segments, is scheduled for two more weekends later this month.

Jan. 12-13: Buses will replace Blue Line trains between Rosslyn and Pentagon, and the Arlington Cemetery station will be closed.

Jan. 26-27: Buses will replace Red Line trains between Dupont Circle and Rhode Island Avenue, closing Farragut North, the Red Line platforms at Metro Center and Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Union Station and NoMa-Gallaudet U. This is likely to be the month’s biggest disruption, because it will split the Red Line right where it runs through the middle of downtown D.C. The shuttle buses will have to deal with the traffic and traffic signals through this normally crowded zone.

Travelers taking short east-west trips across downtown might be better off on the D.C. Circulator’s Georgetown-Union Station route, which runs along K Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW.

 

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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