WTOP track work guide: Surge 16, June 17 to 25

WASHINGTON — Metro’s Shady Grove and Rockville stations on the Red Line will be closed June 17—25 in the final round-the-clock work zone of this particular phase of Metro track work.

The work

Shady Grove and Rockville will be closed for nine days so crews can rebuild the tracks in the area.

While this stretch was the subject of a previous 24/7 work zone last August, that work schedule was disrupted when a derailment led Metro to discover serious issues at interlockings (where trains cross from one track to another), which required more immediate repairs.

Twinbrook Station is scheduled to serve as the northwestern end of the Red Line during this work.

Red Line riders at stations other than Shady Grove and Rockville will get the first taste of Metro’s rush-hour service cuts that begin on all other lines June 26.

During the work zone, trains will be scheduled at the end of the line every eight minutes, with additional trains between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Silver Spring bringing scheduled waits downtown to no more than four minutes at the peak of rush hour.

Other lines are scheduled to run normally.

The workarounds

Metro shuttle buses will run between Shady Grove, Rockville and Twinbrook stations at all times the rail system is open. During rush hour, additional express shuttle buses are scheduled between Shady Grove and Grosvenor-Strathmore.

The local buses will stop on the west side of Shady Grove station, while the express buses are scheduled to be on the east side. At Rockville, the shuttles will be on Maryland Route 355/Rockville Pike. At Twinbrook, the shuttles are due to drop off and pick up on the west side of the station along Chapman Avenue.

Even with the shuttle buses, Metro encourages riders who typically use Shady Grove or Rockville to instead go directly to Twinbrook, White Flint, Glenmont or Wheaton during the work period.

MARC Brunswick Line trains are an additional option for rush-hour commuters. The trains have stops at Germantown, Metropolitan Grove, Gaithersburg, Washington Grove, Rockville and Garrett Park on the way to and from Silver Spring and Union Station.

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation has even distributed about 1,000 free tickets at Shady Grove for MARC rides between Metropolitan Grove and Silver Spring ($5 value) or Union Station ($6 value) to encourage riders to try it. The Metropolitan Grove MARC station typically has parking spaces available.

Other bus options include Metro’s Q Line buses between Shady Grove, Rockville, Wheaton, Forest Glen and Silver Spring. Montgomery County RideOn options include Route 46 between Shady Grove and Medical Center or Route 47 between Rockville and Bethesda.

Commuter bus riders who typically take Maryland Transit Administration commuter bus route 505 from Hagerstown/Myersville or route 515 from Frederick/Urbana to the Shady Grove Metro will instead be dropped off and picked up at Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station on their usual buses.

Commuters who choose to still park at the Shady Grove or Rockville Metro Stations should note that they will still be charged for parking.

Montgomery County has a map of free park-and-ride lots where there are other bus options available, and it otherwise encourages commuters to carpool.

For commuters who live close to the Shady Grove or Rockville Metro Stations, biking may also be an option. A 6-to-7-mile ride from Shady Grove to Twinbrook takes 30 to 40 minutes and is largely downhill. A ride from Rockville to Twinbrook is 2 to 3 miles, or about 15 minutes.

What’s next?

Metro raises fares and cuts scheduled service starting June 25.

At rush hour, trains will be scheduled every eight minutes at all end-of-line stations rather than every six minutes. Yellow Line “Rush Plus” service will be canceled, as will service on several bus routes.

In addition, Metro plans at least one track work zone on each line every weekend for the next year, along with continuing round-the-clock work zones.

The next 24/7 shutdown is scheduled to be on the Green Line in August.

Aug. 5-20, the Branch Avenue and Suitland stations will be closed. On weekdays, other Green Line stations are not scheduled to be impacted by the work. A third station, Naylor Road, is scheduled to be closed on weekends during that period too. Shuttle bus service is planned.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She has a master’s degree in interactive journalism from American University and a master’s degree in English Literature from The George Washington University.


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