Metro delays reopening of Shady Grove, Rockville stations to January as additional trains brought into system

Metro’s efforts to add additional trains to the rail system while their newer trains undergo an investigation have created another issue for the transit authority: The Shady Grove and Rockville Stations will need to remain closed until January 2022.

Originally, they were scheduled to reopen Dec. 5, 2021.

Metro Spokesperson Sherri Ly said 2000- and 3000-series train cars are being brought back to the system from the Shady Grove Rail Yard, but in order to get them into the system, they must pass through the two shuttered Metro Stations. In the process, Metro will have to remove protective platforms that have been placed over the tracks to protect them during ongoing canopy work.

Metro is aiming to reopen the stations in January, but has not been able to pinpoint an exact date yet, as issues with the glass being used for the canopies were discovered. Ly said there were inconsistent levels of quality for the glass, and that they did not meet Metro’s quality standards. She said the problem did not appear to be present in every glass panel.

Once the protective paneling is removed from the stations’ tracks and the 2000- and 3000-series trains have been moved out, some 7000-series trains will be moved through the system to take their place at the Shady Grove Rail Yard. After that, the paneling will be reinstalled and Metro will resume the canopy work.

Those 7000-series trains were removed from the system after a Blue Line train derailed in October, and a fault was discovered in the Kawasaki-produced trains’ wheels and axels that allowed the cars to derail.

Ly said the 2000- and 3000-series trains still need to go through an inspection and maintenance process, but that they are expected to provide extra volume “in the coming days.”

In total, 32 rail cars are being brought back into service from the Shady Grove Rail Yard, and Ly said that would equate to five trains and two additional cars.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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