WASHINGTON — The Red Line between Friendship Heights and Grosvenor-Strathmore is closed this weekend as part of Metro’s efforts to reduce the amount of water that pools around the electrified third rail. Other track work is scheduled to significantly slow the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.
This will be the third weekend out of the last four that the Red Line stretch is shut down in addition to four consecutive weekends over the summer that were announced together as a separate single batch of closures. A Metro proposal in 2014 — that ended up being discarded due to cost — would have dealt with the water issues near Medical Center over 14 straight weekends.
The current shutdowns and continued late-night service reductions on weekdays could last longer if the sealant tests show more positive results, which would lead to an expansion beyond the initial test areas.
On Saturday and Sunday, shuttle buses will run between Friendship Heights, Bethesda, Medical Center and Grosvenor-Strathmore. Riders who would typically use stations such as Shady Grove or Rockville to reach the District could consider using the Glenmont and Silver Spring side of the Red Line to avoid the shuttle buses. Trains on other parts of the Red Line are scheduled to run normally.
The last inbound Red Line trains from Shady Grove will leave 40 minutes earlier than usually scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, at 11:45 p.m. Saturday and 9:45 p.m. Sunday. The last trains from stations between Friendship Heights and Glenmont are scheduled to depart at their usual times.
Since June, Metro normally closes at 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and only runs 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays.
The Washington Redskins did not ask Metro to stay open late for Sunday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders at FedExField. The team would have had to pay a $100,000 deposit for each extra hour of service. In recent years, about 1,000 people have used Metro for the team’s games, a Metro spokesman said last week.
Silver, Orange and Blue lines
The Orange, Blue and Silver lines are each scheduled only every 24 minutes this weekend. The Silver Line will only run between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston.
Metro plans work west of Foggy Bottom that will require single tracking for Orange Line trains between Foggy Bottom and Clarendon, and for Blue Line trains between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery.
At stations between Ballston and Farragut Square, Metrobus 38B is a possible alternative to waiting for trains. Blue Line riders might consider using the Yellow Line to and from stations in Virginia.
The Yellow and Green lines are scheduled to operate normally this weekend.