Silver Line testing to affect weekend Metro schedule


Drivers along the Dulles Toll Road will see test trains like this along the Silver Line. (Chuck Samuelson – Dulles Metrorail Corridor Project)

In addition to the usual track work, this weekend’s Metrorail schedule includes an extra twist: Sunday marks the start of a week-long test of the Silver Line service.

You won’t see trains marked “Silver Line” until the service begins for real on July 26. But starting this Sunday, trains will operate along the Silver Line route between the new station at Wiehle Avenue in the Reston area and Largo Town Center. Between Wiehle-Reston East station and East Falls Church, no passengers. But at East Falls Church, the trains will be designated as Orange Line trains, destination “Largo.” They will pick up passengers between East Falls Church and Largo Town Center.

That means some additional service Sunday, and some additional things to think about. See the special notes below for Orange and Blue Line riders.

Orange Line. Trains are scheduled to operate every 22 minutes after 10 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday. On Sunday, trains are scheduled to leave the ends of the line at Vienna and New Carrollton every 24 minutes. Service will be more frequent between East Falls Church and Stadium-Armory. In that zone, trains should reach platforms about every 12 minutes on Sunday. Crews will be working on platform rehabilitation between Minnesota Avenue and Cheverly.

Note: Pay extra attention to the destination signs for the westbound trains on Sunday. Let’s say you park at Vienna and take a train to the District on your way to Nationals Park for the 1:35 p.m. game Sunday. On your way home, the Orange Line trains will be labeled either “Vienna” or “East Falls Church.” The trains marked “East Falls Church” will arrive more frequently.

Blue Line. Similar schedule to the Orange Line, but different work zones. After 10 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday, Blue Line trains are scheduled to operate every 22 minutes. On Sunday, they will leave the ends of the line at Franconia-Springfield and Largo Town Center every 24 minutes, but service will be more frequent between Rosslyn and Largo. In that zone, trains should reach platforms about every 12 minutes.

Note: Blue Line riders on Sunday also should pay special attention to the destination signs on the trains. On the platforms east of Stadium-Armory, riders will see some Orange Line trains. Eastbound, the destination sign will be “Largo.” On the westbound side, these Orange Line trains will be labeled “East Falls Church.” So if you’re on the platform at Largo and bound for L’Enfant Plaza or Smithsonian or any other destination in downtown Washington, it’s okay to board these Orange Line trains.

The work zones are between Braddock Road and Van Dorn Street, where crews will work on the tracks and fences, and between Benning Road and Capitol Heights, where workers will be preparing for a switch replacement and performing tunnel repairs.

Green Line. On Saturday and Sunday, free shuttle buses will replace trains between Greenbelt and College Park while crews work on the test track for Metro’s new railcars.

The bus trip between the stations will take about 15 minutes. Some riders might prefer to park at the College Park station this weekend. On the rest of the line, normal service is scheduled.

Red Line. Crews will work on the tracks between Shady Grove and Twinbrook. Trains will leave the ends of the line at Shady Grove and Glenmont every 15 minutes, starting at 10 p.m. Friday. But between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, more trains will be in service between Grosvenor and Silver Spring. In that zone, trains should reach platforms every eight to 10 minutes.

See also:

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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