Metro planning major weekend rail work

Metro is planning major track work and maintenance this weekend on the Red, Blue and Orange lines and warns that riders should expect delays and allow more time for their trips.

On the Red Line, the Takoma, Silver Spring, Forest Glen, Wheaton and Glenmont stations will be closed. Buses will provide service between Fort Totten and Glenmont.

Metro said it plans to have crews install new rail and communications cables for cellphone coverage, replace ties and fasteners and do preventive maintenance on nearly 20 escalators and elevators.

“There’s a lot of work to be done on that section of the Red Line,” said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

By closing five stations at once, he said, the transit agency will be able to “get more work done.”

“It is late summer, so there’s a benefit to getting this out of the way when ridership is lighter,” Stessel said. “We’re getting as much production out of this weekend so we don’t have to spread the pain more broadly.”

The work is part of Metro’s six-year plan to spend $5 billion repairing the aging and rundown rail system.

The work will occur from 10 p.m. Friday through closing Sunday.

On the Red Line, service will operate normally between the Fort Totten and Shady Grove stations.

Metro suggests that customers who usually use the closed Metrorail stations should take the Metrobus Y and Q routes for north-south connections or J routes for east-west travel, or Ride-On buses.

There will also be single-tracking between Grosvenor and Twinbrook as station platform repair work is done at White Flint and Twinbrook. Single-tracking will also be done between Fort Totten and Silver Spring so workers can do emergency phone repairs.

Metro has warned that customers traveling through the work zones should allow about 45 minutes of extra travel time.

There will be work on other lines this weekend as well.

Blue Line trains will leave terminals at the end of the line about every 20 minutes. Trains will share one track between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road as crews fix the “floating slabs” below the rails to provide a smoother ride, Metro said. In addition, trains will share one track between Arlington Cemetery and Pentagon City, between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road, and between Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street.

All Yellow Line trains will run every 20 minutes between the Huntington and Mount Vernon stations. Customers should plan an additional 20 minutes to their trips.

On the Orange Line, trains will share one track between Vienna and West Falls Church to allow for rail and tie work. On Saturday and Sunday from opening to 9:30 p.m., every other train from New Carrollton will turn back at West Falls Church.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.
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