Metro changes track work plan, adds series of weekend shutdowns

WASHINGTON — Metro is overhauling its 24/7 track work program in order to address deteriorating tracks in key areas where problems have been identified.

Tuesday’s announcement comes amid new inspections and track safety concerns following a derailment in July and a scathing federal report.

Special inspections after the derailment uncovered more issues on the rail line.

The overhaul means that trains on the Red Line will continue to share a single track north of the Twinbrook station through the system’s closing on Friday. The single-tracking had been scheduled to end Thursday night. Previously, Metro had said it would stick to round-the-clock track work schedules, with any additional work completed on nights or weekends.

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation said the same backup options would remain in place.

Like last weekend, there will be no Red Line trains this weekend between the Grosvenor-Strathmore and Shady Grove stations.

The changes also include a series of new shutdowns involving long stretches of track every weekend through mid-October. The lone weekend without a new shutdown already had one scheduled.

The schedule for round-the-clock single tracking also is shifting.

Moving forward, work on the Blue Line that was originally scheduled to begin Saturday will be pushed back a week, to Aug. 27. Single tracking between the Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street stations is now scheduled to last through Sept. 11.

Metro had previously planned to avoid rush-hour track work during the first few days after Labor Day, when all schools returned to session.

Track work on the Orange Line, between Vienna and West Falls Church, also has shifted and will now begin Sept. 15. The 42-day work zone will run through Oct. 26.

That track work had already been scheduled to overlap slightly with the round-the-clock shut down of the Red Line, between NoMa-Gallaudet and Fort Totten stations. Metro has not announced any changes to that major Red Line work, which is scheduled to run from Oct. 10 to Nov. 1.

Metro plans to announce further changes to the track work plan in mid-September.

The shutdowns riders can expect on weekends through mid-October are:

  • Aug. 20-21: Red Line shutdown — no trains at Shady Grove, Rockville, Twinbrook or White Flint
  • Aug. 27-28: Blue Line shutdown — no trains at Franconia-Springfield
  • Sept. 3—5 (Labor Day weekend, including Monday): Blue Line shutdown — no trains at Franconia-Springfield or Van Dorn Street
  • Sept. 10—11: Blue Line shutdown — no trains at Franconia Springfield or Van Dorn Street
  • (Previously scheduled) Sept. 17—18: Yellow Line shutdown — no service between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza
  • Sept. 24—25: Orange Line shutdown — no trains at Vienna, Dunn Loring or West Falls Church
  • Oct. 1—2: Orange Line shutdown — no trains at Vienna, Dunn Loring or West Falls Church
  • Oct. 8—9: Orange Line shutdown — no trains at Vienna or Dunn Loring
  • Oct. 15—16: Orange Line shutdown — no trains at Vienna or Dunn Loring
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