Stadium-Armory will be served by Blue Line trains only during rush hour. During weekdays, from system opening until 10 a.m., and from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Orange and Silver Line trains will pass through the station without stopping.
The change will be in place indefinitely. Bypassing Stadium-Armory provides two advantages, Metro spokeswoman Morgan Dye said.
“It will create more time and space between trains because Orange and Silver line trains will not have to slow, stop and service the platform,” she said. “In addition, it reduces power draw because accelerating trains draw more power than those operating at their cruising speed.”
The fire last Monday destroyed a 9-megawatt power substation responsible for converting commercial power into D/C electricity, which powers the third rail. The outage forced Metro to reduce train speeds and cap the number of trains passing through Stadium-Armory, Metro said.
On Friday, the agency began running Orange and Silver line trains at eight-minute intervals rather than every six-minutes, to reduce the workload on the power system. Metro said it would increase the number of eight-car trains on the Orange and Blue lines to provide additional capacity.
The station-skipping strategy, however, is an additional change.
“While the impact of this change is limited to one station, the benefit will be realized by tens of thousands of riders,” Metro said in a statement. “This ‘skip stop’ strategy is in addition to actions announced and implemented Friday to reduce congestion due to operating restrictions resulting from the transformer fire.”
Free shuttle buses will travel between the Stadium-Armory and Minnesota Avenue stations to accommodate for the “small number” of customers who take the Orange Line to stations east of Stadium-Armory, Metro said in the statement.
All three lines — Blue, Orange and Silver — will serve the station during midday hours, nights and weekends, Metro said.
The agency is feeding power to Stadium-Armory from smaller substations farther away that have reached their output capacity, the statement said. Service changes are necessary, Metro said, to avoid overloading the system and causing service disruptions.
The power station has to be demolished and rebuilt, and damaged equipment replaced, in order for trains to operate normally again, Metro said.
The process is expected to take more than six months.
Dye said Orange and Silver Line trains will skip the station during rush hour for “as long as the operating restrictions are in place.”
“We are exploring additional options that could result in an easing of the restrictions on a faster timetable, but it is not yet known if those will be possible,” she said.