Metro to work on three lines this weekend

September 3, 2013

Drivers along the Dulles Toll Road can see test trains like this along the Silver Line. This weekend’s disruption on the Orange Line will check the signal system to connect the new line. (Chuck Samuelson – Dulles Metrorail Corridor Project)

Schedules for the Blue, Orange and Red lines will be affected by Metrorail’s rebuilding plan from 10 p.m. Friday through the midnight closing Sunday. The greatest impact will be on sections of  the Orange and Red lines where buses replace trains.

Orange Line
Crews will be testing the signals in preparation for the opening of the Silver Line, which will connect with the Orange Line. They also will be working on the tracks.

Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Vienna and Ballston. The Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations will be closed. Between Ballston and New Carrollton, trains will operate every 12 minutes during the day and every 15 to 20 minutes at other times. That’s the normal weekend schedule.

The buses will operate on two routes, one an express between Vienna and Ballston, which will add about 25 minutes to normal travel time, the other a local stopping at all stations between Vienna and Ballston. Taking the local will add about 15 minutes per stop to normal travel time.

A weekender who normally parks at stations on the west side of the line might prefer to park in the Ballston area instead this weekend, to cut off the bus trip.

Red Line
On the east side of the line, crews will replace wooden track ties, work on the third rail, maintain concrete structures and begin preparations for winter, Metro said. NoMa-Gallaudet and Union Station will be closed.

Buses will replace trains between Rhode Island Avenue and Judiciary Square. Outside that zone, trains will operate every 10 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on their regular weekend schedules at other hours, Metro said.

The buses will operate on an express route between Rhode Island Avenue and Judiciary Square, adding 15 minutes to normal travel time, and on a local route making the intermediate stops as well. If taking the local, add about 10 minutes of extra travel time per station.

The last train of the night from Glenmont to Rhode Island Ave will leave half an hour earlier than normal to make connections with the shuttles. On Friday and Saturday nights, the last train will leave Glenmont at 2:07 a.m.. On Sunday night, the last train will leave at 11:07.

Using the Green or Yellow lines between between Fort Totten and Gallery Place will avoid the work zone. Both those lines will operate on their normal weekend schedules.

Blue Line
Crews will replace wooden track ties and work on the third rail between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield.

Between Van Dorn Street and Largo, the trains will operate every 12 minutes during the day and every 15 to 20 minutes at other hours. In the work zone between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield, they will operate every 20 to 24 minutes, Metro said.

Weekenders who normally would drive to Franconia-Springfield might be better off using the parking at Huntington station this weekend. The Yellow Line will take them over the Potomac River to L’Enfant Plaza and continue north through the middle of downtown D.C. They can transfer to the Blue or Orange lines at L’Enfant Plaza or to the Red Line at Gallery Place.

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 · September 3, 2013