Metro to split the Red Line again this weekend

October 15, 2013

The Red Line is about to undergo its next-to-last major weekend disruption of 2013, but all lines will be affected by track work before December ends. (Jabin Botsford for The Washington Post)

Free shuttle buses will replace trains between Silver Spring and Fort Totten this weekend, the next to last major disruption on the Red Line scheduled for 2013. The final one involving a partial closure of the line is scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 9-11, the long Veterans Day weekend, when the Shady Grove, Rockville and Twinbrook stations will be closed.

The disruptions that have been so much a part of weekend travel on the Red Line for several years should lessen as the rebuilding program focuses on other lines over the next several years.

The transit authority plans to cram a lot of major work into the remaining weekends of 2013, work that will affect all lines. Of particular interest to Orange and Blue Line riders is the program scheduled for Nov. 2-3, when buses will replace trains between Federal Triangle and Eastern Market stations.

The program skips over the Thanksgiving weekend, but resumes for three weekends in December, ending the weekend before Christmas when the Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations will be closed.

Here are the details for this coming weekend.

Red Line. Crews will be working on the tracks and the third rail between Silver Spring and Fort Totten from 10 p.m. Friday through the rail system’s midnight closing Sunday. The Takoma station will be closed. On the open portions of the line, trains will operate every 10 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. At other hours, they will operate on their regular weekend schedules.

The shuttle buses will operate on express and local routes. The express won’t stop at Takoma. The trip between Silver Spring and Fort Totten should take about 15 minutes. The local will include an intermediate stop at Takoma. Allow about 10 minutes to travel between each station.

The last Red Line train of the night from Glenmont to Silver Spring will leave 27 minutes earlier than normal. On Friday and Saturday nights, it will leave at 2:10 a.m., and on Sunday, it will leave at 11:10 p.m.

Green Line. Crews will again be working on the test track for Metro’s new rail cars. This will affect weekend service at the Greenbelt station.

Between College Park and the southern end of the line at Branch Avenue, trains will operate every 12 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. But at Greenbelt station, trains will arrive and depart every 20 to 25 minutes, because of the work zone near the north end of the line.

Greenbelt is a popular station because it’s just off the Capital Beltway and has a huge parking lot, but because of the weekend work, travelers may prefer to use the Green Line’s College Park station, or start at the Orange Line’s New Carrollton station, which is just off the Beltway a little farther south.

Early opening
On Sunday, Metrorail will open at 5 a.m., two hours early, to accommodate people heading for the Army Ten-Miler at Pentagon station.

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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