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Metro closes stations weekend before Thanksgiving

Wednesday - 11/16/2011, 6:47am  ET

Metro (AP)
Stations along the Blue and Yellow Lines will be closed this weekend. (AP)

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- The busy Thanksgiving travel period officially kicks off this weekend. So why is Metro shutting down the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Station for the weekend?

From 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday, the Crystal City, Reagan National and Braddock Road Stations on the Blue and Yellow Lines will close for major repairs.

Metro says it needs to put the closures in place to install new rail ties, insulators, upgrade the surfaces underneath the rails and install communications cables for improved cell phone service.

Despite lots of people starting their trips to and from town, Metro says the weekend before Thanksgiving is "historically not an especially busy weekend for Metrorail ridership at Reagan National."

If you do want to take Metro to Reagan National Airport this weekend, you'll have to ride a shuttle bus.

Metro says it will operate these four shuttle bus routes over the weekend:

  • Downtown Express: Non-stop service between Metro Center (12th & G streets) and Reagan National Airport
  • Airport Route 1: King Street - Reagan National Airport
  • Airport Route 2: Pentagon City - Crystal City - Reagan National Airport
  • Local Route: Pentagon City - Crystal City - Braddock Road - King Street (Note: The local route will not stop at the airport.)

Metro does say rail service at the airport will operate normally with no scheduled track work beginning Monday, Nov. 21, and continuing through Sunday, Nov. 27.

In addition to the closures around Reagan National, Metro also has a full compliment of track work planned this weekend that will require single tracking.

Here is the schedule according to Metro:

Red Line - 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, through closing Sunday, Nov. 20

  • Red Line trains will share one track between Dupont Circle and Judiciary Square stations to allow for utility line stabilization at Farragut North station and installation of new emergency phones.
  • On Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Red Line trains will depart every 10 minutes from Shady Grove and Glenmont stations. Every other train from Shady Grove station will terminate at Dupont Circle. Every other train from Glenmont will terminate at Union Station.
  • At all other times during the weekend, Red Line trains will depart approximately every 20 minutes from Shady Grove and Glenmont stations.
  • Trains operating through the work zone between Dupont Circle and Judiciary Square will operate every 20 minutes in each direction.
  • The last train departing Glenmont station will leave 11 minutes earlier than usual -- at 2:26 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 11:26 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Customers should allow about 30 minutes of additional travel time and expect crowding conditions.

Blue Line - 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 through closing on Sunday, Nov. 20

  • Blue Line trains will share one track between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road stations as personnel make repairs to the floating slabs underneath the rails to provide a smoother ride.
  • Throughout the weekend, Blue Line trains will operate every 20 minutes.
  • Customers should allow about 20 minutes of additional travel time.

Orange Line - 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 through closing on Sunday, Nov. 20:

  • Orange Line trains will share one track between Ballston and East Falls Church stations while personnel install new track.
  • Throughout the weekend, Orange Line trains will depart endpoint terminals approximately every 20 minutes.
  • Customers should allow about 20 minutes of additional travel time.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)