The Washington Post

Schedule delays on Blue, Orange lines this weekend

A crew repaired tracks at Silver Spring in last Saturday’s heavy rain. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

The Metrorail schedule for this weekend is simple, compared with many others this year: From 10 p.m. Friday through the rail system’s midnight closing Sunday, Blue and Orange Line trains will operate every 16 minutes, compared with their normal 12-minute weekend schedules.

All Metro stations throughout the system will be open, and schedules will be normal on the Red, Yellow and Green lines. Crews will work on the tracks, tunnels and station ceilings between Smithsonian and McPherson Square stations, the reason for the change in schedules on the Blue and Orange lines.

Earlier this year, Metro changed the way it schedules trains on lines where weekend work requires them to share tracks. Instead of having the trains back up at the edges of the work zones and taking turns on the open track, Metro now spaces the trains far enough apart so there should be no bunching up at the start of the work zones. Once a passenger boards a train, the trip should proceed normally. And Metro can incorporate that weekend schedule into its online Trip Planner each Friday.

There may be a long time between trains. They were 24 minutes apart on sections of the Red Line last weekend. That makes it especially important for riders to check the Trip Planner. It also makes it even more important for Metro’s Operations Control Center to keep the trains on the schedule, which is not always the case.

Oct. 4-6

For the weekend after this, Metro is planning a major disruption in service on the Red Line through downtown D.C.

From 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, through the midnight closing on Sunday, Oct. 6, free shuttle buses will replace trains between Dupont Circle and NoMa-Gallaudet. Farragut North, Judiciary Square and Union Station will be closed. Gallery Place will be open only for Yellow and Green line passengers. Metro Center will remain open for Blue and Orange Line riders.

Between Shady Grove and Dupont Circle and between Glenmont and NoMa-Gallaudet, trains will operate every 10 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. At other hours, they will be on their regular weekend schedules, which means every 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the time of day.

Between Dupont Circle and NoMa-Gallaudet, the shuttle buses will operate on limited-stop and local routes. The limited-stop service will include stops at Metro Center and Gallery Place. The local will stop at all the stations between Dupont Circle and NoMa-Gallaudet.

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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