The Washington Post

Metro resuming intensive track work

The cherry blossom break is over. Metrorail this weekend will resume the aggressive track work schedule it has adopted for 2011.

The transit authority plans to shut the eastern side of the Orange Line to fix the aerial structure outside Cheverly Station, single-track around a rail switch project at the Blue Line’s Van Dorn Street Station and send trains around two work zones on the Red Line.

Eastern Orange Line

From 8 p.m. Friday through the rail system’s midnight closing Sunday, there will be no train service between Stadium-Armory and New Carrollton. Metro will provide a free shuttle bus service to bridge the gap between the five closed stations (Minnesota Avenue, Deanwood, Cheverly, Landover and New Carrollton).

Riders using the shuttles should add about 40 minutes to their normal travel times through that area.

Workers will carry out the next phase of the long-term project to stabilize the aerial structure near Cheverly, a project that has led to similar weekend shutdowns several times since last fall. But the transit authority also will use the shutdown to resurface rails, replace track fasteners and ties and fix 19 escalators and 14 elevators in the zone where stations are closed.

To help riders get through the work zone, Metro will operate free shuttle buses around the station closures. Customers should build an extra 40 minutes into their travel plans if they need to pass through the work zone.

Orange Line trains will operate only between Vienna and Stadium-Armory. The trains will arrive at stations about every 15 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes at night.

Any time stations are closed for one of these weekend projects, the Friday night service is the most difficult for riders. They need to be aware of the schedule so they can make their connections.

Before the shutdown begins, the last Orange Line train from Vienna to New Carrollton will leave Vienna at 6:59 p.m., Rosslyn at 7:21 p.m., Metro Center at 7:28 p.m., L’Enfant Plaza at 7:33 p.m., Stadium-Armory at 7:42 p.m., and arrive in New Carrollton at 7:56 p.m.

The last Orange Line train to Vienna will leave New Carrollton at 7:42 p.m., Stadium-Armory at 7:56 p.m., L’Enfant Plaza at 8:05 p.m., Metro Center at 8:10 p.m., Rosslyn at 8:17 p.m., and arrive in Vienna at 8:39 p.m. After that, the Orange Line will run only between Stadium-Armory and Vienna.

The shuttle bus service will start at 8 p.m. Friday and operate during Metrorail hours till the midnight closing Sunday. There will be two routes:

Orange Line Express: Buses will operate between Stadium-Armory and New Carrollton with no stops in between.

Orange Line Local: Buses will operate between Stadium-Armory and New Carrollton, stopping at the Minnesota Avenue, Deanwood, Cheverly, Landover and New Carrollton stations.

Blue Line

From 10 p.m. Friday to the midnight closing Sunday, while workers replace rail switches at Van Dorn Street, all Blue Line trains will operate between Largo Town Center and Huntington. Blue Line trains will operate about every 15 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes at night.

Metro also will operate a Blue Line shuttle train between Franconia-Springfield and King Street. The shuttles will leave about every half hour.

For the final shuttle train to make its connection for the last northbound train at King Street, the shuttle will leave Franconia-Springfield at 2:26 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 11:26 p.m. Sunday.

Red Line

From 10 p.m. Friday to Sunday’s closing, Red Line trains will share one track between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Twinbrook. Workers will be repairing the White Flint platform.

Trains also will share a track between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue, where crews continue to work on upgrades to the aerial structure outside Rhode Island Avenue.

Throughout the weekend, trains will leave Shady Grove and Glenmont, at the ends of the line, about every 16 minutes. From 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, service in the middle part of the line, between Grosvenor and Silver Spring, will be more frequent.

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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