Metro shutdowns set for this weekend

WASHINGTON — A pair of Metro shutdowns will disrupt travel this weekend on four lines.

Blue, Orange, Silver lines

There will be no trains Saturday or Sunday between Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle.

Farragut West and McPherson Square stations will be closed, and there will be no Blue, Orange or Silver Line trains at Metro Center. Red Line trains, however, will still operate at Metro Center.

Shuttle buses will be available, but riders should consider using the Yellow Line for connections to and from stations between Pentagon and King Street. Riders downtown can consider walking to or from other stations if possible due to the proximity of Farragut North, Metro Center and Gallery Place to locations served by the closed stations.

For example, riders who get to Foggy Bottom and want to transfer to the Red Line could walk to Farragut North, or take the shuttle bus to Farragut West and get on a train at Farragut North rather than going all the way to Metro Center. Walking the entire closed stretch from Federal Triangle to Foggy Bottom is about 1.5 miles.

Due to the shutdown, Silver Line trains are only scheduled to run between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston, where riders can transfer to or from the Orange Line to continue their trips.

Last trains earlier

On both Saturday and Sunday, the last trains on the Blue and Orange lines will leave earlier than usually scheduled.

On the Blue Line, the last trains will leave Largo Town Center at 11:26 p.m. Saturday (more than an hour earlier than usually scheduled) and 10:10 p.m. Sunday (18 minutes earlier than usual). The last trains will leave Franconia-Springfield at 11:55 p.m. on Saturday and 9:55 p.m. on Sunday, 31 minutes earlier than normal.

On the Orange Line, the last trains are scheduled to leave Vienna at 11:49 p.m. Saturday and 9:52 p.m. Sunday, about 30 minutes earlier than usual. The last trains are scheduled to leave New Carrollton at 12:20 a.m. Saturday night and 10:20 p.m. Sunday night, 14 minutes earlier than normal.

Red Line

On Sunday only, part of the Red Line will be shut down for a safety drill.

Until about 2 p.m. Sunday, White Flint Station will be closed and there will be no trains between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Twinbrook.

During the exercise, shuttle buses will be available between Twinbrook, White Flint and Grosvenor-Strathmore, but riders heading downtown will likely be better off parking at Grosvenor-Strathmore to avoid the shutdown.


As a reminder, the rail system now closes at 11:30 p.m. weeknights, 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights and is only open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays.

The last trains are normally scheduled to leave the end-of-line stations up to 50 minutes before the stated closing time.

  • Q: What is the Silver Line extension?
  • It’s an 11.5-mile, six-station stretch of track added on to the Silver Line (which marks the first time Metro will head into Loudoun County, and it will bring rail riders to Dulles International Airport for the first time.)

  • Q: What are the new stations?
  • As of Monday, the Silver Line ends at Wiehle-Reston East. Starting Tuesday, it extends to Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Washington Dulles International Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn.

    In a burst of optimism, Metro released the new map last month.

  • Q: So you can take the Metro to Dulles now?
  • It’s true! Metro estimates it’ll take about 53 minutes to get there from Metro Center, 62 minutes from Reagan National Airport. There’s an underground walkway between baggage claim and the station, and it’s about a five-minute walk, Metro said.

    In fact, you’ll be losing some of the other options for getting to Dulles: The Silver Line Express Bus service, run by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority between Dulles and the Wiehle-Reston East station, is ending Nov. 16, and the Fairfax County Connector routes 980 and 981, which both went to the airport, are shutting down Nov. 16.

    That said, Jack Potter, the president of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, said the extension is a big deal for the airport, and in turn for travelers: Easy access to downtown will attract new airlines to Dulles, he said. “This has been a vision for Dulles Airport for 70 years,” Potter said.

  • Q: So when does the first train leave?
  • The first eastbound train leaves Ashburn for Largo, Maryland, just before 2 p.m. Tuesday. There are a couple of ceremonial westbound trips, but the first full-on trip to Ashburn shoves off from Largo at 12:51 p.m.

  • Q: How much did this all cost?
  • A cool $3 billion. It’s about $250 million over budget, which Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chair Jeff McKay was not thrilled about when it was announced this summer. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors kicked in $40.25 million this month, after the opening date was announced.

  • Q: And how long has this been in the works?
  • Hoo boy.

    The first projection was that this second phase of the Silver Line would be running in 2018. That’s been adjusted multiple times over the years: Storm water problems, concrete problems, locusts (OK maybe not locusts). They’ve dealt with some stuff is what I’m saying.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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