How the Blue and Orange line Metro closings Nov. 5 will affect riders

An examination of the nation's second largest rail transit system comes at a time when Metro tries to weather an unprecedented season of danger and dismay.
By Robert Thomson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 4, 2010; 9:44 PM

About 500 workers will descend on the eastern side of the Blue and Orange lines this weekend as Metro shuts several stations to make extensive repairs. Riders will need to add extra time to board shuttle buses for trips taken through the work zones or plan to use other stations.

Why the work

The main goals are to install new track circuits outside the Stadium-Armory Station and to begin a long-term project to stabilize the ground, abutment and aerial structure outside the Cheverly Station. Metro planners added other projects to take advantage of the shutdown. Workers are scheduled to replace 4,290 feet of track, 680 insulators, 2,418 rail ties, 650 track fasteners and two track switches at New Carrollton. They also will repair the platform at Minnesota Avenue.

What will be closed

The Orange Line's Minnesota Avenue, Deanwood, Cheverly, Landover and New Carrollton stations will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday. There will be no rail service in that zone. At the same time, no Blue Line trains will operate between Stadium-Armory and Benning Road. The Benning Road Station will remain open. Service should return to normal when the system reopens, although trains may operate at reduced speeds in portions of the work zone.

Shuttle buses

From 10 p.m. Friday until the system's midnight closing Sunday, Metro will operate three free shuttle bus routes between the affected stations on the Blue and Orange lines.

Blue Line: Buses will operate between Stadium-Armory and Benning Road Metrorail stations.

Orange Line: An express shuttle will operate between Stadium-Armory and New Carrollton, with no intermediate stops. A local shuttle will stop at Minnesota Avenue, Deanwood, Cheverly, Landover and New Carrollton.

Travel tips

l When using the shuttles, add 20 minutes to the normal trip time between Benning Road and Stadium-Armory. Add a half-hour to a trip between New Carrollton and Stadium-Armory when using the express shuttle. Add up to 40 minutes for a trip between New Carrollton and Stadium-Armory on the local shuttle.

l Be sure to add extra time if you are taking Metrorail to events in the District. The Capitals and Wizards will be playing at Verizon Center. The Greater Washington Heart Walk is scheduled for Saturday at Nationals Park.

l It takes several shuttle buses to hold as many people as a single rail car. Also, it takes time to board and let passengers on and off the buses, and then there's the reality of stop-and-go traffic. It might be easier to drive to a different Metro station and board take the train from there.

l Metro's Trip Planner, normally helpful in getting around, doesn't adjust for disruptions, so it won't be helpful this weekend.

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