Metro's Massive Maintenance Plan Starts June 4; Yes, You Should Expect Delays | NBC4 Washington

Metro's Massive Maintenance Plan Starts June 4; Yes, You Should Expect Delays

SafeTrack is 15 projects over 10 months

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Whether you drive or take Metro to work, you'll want to hear the details of the transit agency's massive maintenance project called Safetrack. The work gets underway June 4 with the first project focusing on the Orange and Silver lines. Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss talked to Metro's General Manager about the disruptions to riders. (Published Thursday, May 19, 2016)

    A long summer of tough commutes for Metrorail riders will start June 4 with 13 straight days of single-tracking in one section, the agency said as it revealed its updated SafeTrack maintenance plan Thursday. 

    The first project will be single-tracking on the Orange and Silver lines between Ballston and East Falls Church starting June 4 and ending June 16.

    Massive Metro Maintenance Starts June 4

    [DC] Massive Metro Maintenance Starts June 4
    A long summer of tough commutes for Metrorail riders will start June 4 with 13 straight days of single-tracking in one section, the agency said as it revealed its updated SafeTrack maintenance plan Thursday. (Published Thursday, May 19, 2016)

    That means reduced service for the entire Orange and Silver lines, and a severe impact west of the Ballston station. 

    The next projects may be among the most disruptive in all 15 projects of the entire 10-month rebuilding plan: The complete shutdown of segments of track on the Orange, Silver, Blue and Yellow lines.

    Starting June 18, the Orange, Silver and Blue lines will be shut down between Eastern Market and the Minnesota Ave. / Benning Road stations. Two stations will be closed: Stadium-Armory and Potomac Ave. That will last until July 3.

     

     

    July 5, the Yellow and Blue lines between Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road will be shut down until July 11. And beginning July 12, the Yellow and Blue lines will be shut down between Reagan and Pentagon City.

    Metro will provide shuttle buses during the shutdowns, but the transit agency said any travelers should consider alternative travel options.

    And the disruptions don't end there: SafeTrack requires five separate shutdowns of sections of the system and 10 spans of single-tracking.

    The dates stretch through the summer, the school year and into 2017, though Metro is pausing the massive maintenance work for big events including Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery and for the presidential Inauguration.

    SafeTrack is Metro's massive overhaul of its rail system. The plan has been championed by new General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, who has said that he wants Metro to prioritize safety over service. 

    Wiedefeld has also said he will not reduce fares during the maintenance. 

    Wiedefeld had rolled out an earlier version of the plan -- only to have to revise it after federal transit officials demanded immediate fixes to some sections of track.

    It's clear that SafeTrack will have a huge impact on Metro riders for most of the next year. In addition to the 15 projects that Metro detailed Thursday, stations will close at midnight to allow for more repair time.

    But SafeTrack follows a series of serious safety breaches on the Metrorail system. In January 2015, a Metro rider died in a smoke-filled car near the L'Enfant Plaza station.

    An investigation revealed that Metro regularly sent trains full of passengers into smoky tunnels to investigate the smoke.

    A string of nonfatal but still serious service and safety problems followed, including the recent fireball that erupted at the Federal Center SW station.

    Here is a detailed look at SafeTrack's 15 projects, taken from the agency's new schedule:

    JUNE 4 - 16

    Continuous single tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston. Reduced service at most stations; severe impact West of Ballston.

     

    • Major impact to 73,000 weekday trips
    • Orange Line runs every 18 minutes to / from stations Vienna - Ballston
    • Additional Orange Line trains run between Ballston - New Carrollton only
    • Silver Line trains run every 18 minutes at all times
    • Orange and Silver line customers encouraged to consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush hour if possible; expect rush hour trains to be very crowded
    • Orange / Silver customers in Virginia may consider using Ballston for more frequent service
    • Additional Metrobus trips on selected regular-route services

     

    JUNE 18 - JULY 3

    Line segment shutdown between Eastern Market and Minnesota Ave/Benning Road. Reduced service at all Orange, Silver and Blue line stations.

     

    • Major impact to 61,000 weekday trips
    • Blue, Orange and Silver line customers encouraged to consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush hour if possible; expect rush hour trains to be very crowded
    • Two stations closed: Stadium-Armory and Potomac Ave.
    • Free shuttle buses run between Eastern Market and Minnesota Ave. / Benning Road with stops at Stadium-Armory and Potomac Ave.
    • Orange Line runs every 10 minutes outside shutdown zone
    • Silver Line runs every 10 minutes outside shutdown zone
    • Blue Line runs every 12 minutes between Franconia and Arlington Cemetery only; Yellow Rush+ runs all day, use Yellow Line for service between VA and DC
    • No rail or bus service between Arlington Cemetery and Rosslyn; travel via L’Enfant Plaza instead

     

    JULY 5 - 11

    Line segment shutdown between National Airport and Braddock Road. Reduced service at all times at many stations, primarily Yellow and Blue lines in Virginia.

     

    • Major impact to 50,000 weekday trips
    • 50 percent reduction in rail service south of Pentagon
    • Blue Line trains run every 12 minutes
    • Yellow Line trains run every 12 minutes
    • Blue / Yellow customers encouraged to consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush hour if possible; expect significant crowding on Blue and Yellow line trains
    • Free shuttle buses operate via Metroway between Braddock Road, Crystal City and Pentagon City
    • Service between D.C. and Reagan National Airport available via train 

     

    JULY 12 - 18

    Line segment shutdown between National Airport and Pentagon City. Reduced service at all times in many stations, primarily Yellow and Blue lines in Virginia.

     

    • Major impact to 86,000 weekday trips
    • 50 percent reduction in rail service south of Pentagon
    • Blue / Yellow customers encouraged to consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush hour if possible; expect significant crowding on Blue and Yellow line trains
    • Shuttle buses operate via Metroway between Braddock Road, Crystal City and Pentagon City
    • Reagan National Airport served via shuttle bus to / from Pentagon City and Braddock Road
    • Blue Line runs every 12 minutes
    • Yellow Line runs every 12 minutes
    • No Rush+ Yellow trains operating

     

     JULY 20 - 31

    Continuous single-tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston. Reduced service at all Orange and Silver line stations.

     

    • Major impact to 73,000 weekday trips
    • Orange Line every 18 minutes at stations from Vienna - Ballston
    • Additional Orange Line trains run between Ballston - New Carrollton
    • Silver Line trains run every 18 minutes
    • Expect significant crowding on Orange/Silver line trains
    • Orange / Silver customers should consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush-hour periods if possible
    • Orange / Silver customers in Virginia may consider using Ballston for more frequent service

     

    AUGUST 1 - 7

    Continuous single tracking between Takoma and Silver Spring; reduced service at most Red Line stations.

     

    • Major impact to 94,000 weekday trips
    • All Red Line customers should consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush-hour periods if possible
    • Red Line trains between Shady Grove to NoMa every 6 minutes
    • Red Line trains between Glenmont to Grosvenor every 12 minutes
    • Additional bus trips on regular route services: S9, 79, 80, 60/62
    • Customers traveling between Fort Totten and Downtown D.C. should use Green Line instead

     

    AUGUST 9 - 18

    Continuous single tracking between Shady Grove and Twinbrook. Reduced service at Shady Grove and Rockville stations.

     

    • Major impact to 32,200 weekday trips
    • Trains serve Shady Grove and Rockville every 18 minutes (regularly every 6 minutes during rush hour)
    • All other Red Line stations will have near-normal service
    • Customers encouraged to avoid Shady Grove and Rockville if possible; use Twinbrook, White Flint or Grosvenor instead
    • Buses on standby in the event of a service disruption in the single track zone

     

    AUGUST 20 - SEPTEMBER 5

    Continuous single tracking between Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn St. Reduced service at Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn St. only.

     

    • Major impact to 18,000 weekday trips
    • Blue Line trains from Franconia every 24 minutes
    • Blue Line trains from Van Dorn Street every 12 minutes
    • All other Blue Line stations will have near-normal service
    • No Rush+ Yellow Line
    • Some trains will run to/from Huntington instead
    • Riders who use Franconia-Springfield or Van Dorn St stations should consider alternates, especially during rush hour; expect significant crowding on trains from Franconia
    • Express bus shuttles will be available during rush hour between Franconia-Springfield and Pentagon via 395HOV

     

    SEPTEMBER 9 - OCTOBER 20

    Continuous single tracking between Vienna and West Falls Church. Reduced service at Vienna and Dunn Loring stations only.

     

    • Major impact to 30,000 weekday trips
    • At Vienna and Dunn Loring, Orange Line trains every 18 minutes (regularly every 6 minutes during rush hour)
    • Normal service levels at other Orange Line stations
    • Expect trains to / from Vienna to be extremely crowded
    • Customers who normally use Vienna or Dunn Loring should consider alternate boarding locations or use other travel options

     

    OCTOBER 10 - NOVEMBER 1

    Line segment shutdown between NoMa and Fort Totten. Reduced service at most Red Line stations.

     

    • Major impact to 108,000 weekday trips
    • Red Line trains will run in two segments:
      • Shady Grove - Noma every 5 minutes
      • Glenmont - Fort Totten every 10 minutes
    • Two stations closed: Brookland-CUA and Rhode Island Ave
    • Less frequent Red Line service; expect crowding on all trains
    • Green Line provides alternate path for thru travel between Fort Totten and Gallery Place
    • Red Line customers should consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush-hour periods if possible; expect trains to be extremely crowded

     

    NOVEMBER 3 - 11

    Continuous single tracking between West Falls Church and East Falls Church. Reduced service at all Orange and Silver line stations.

     

    • Major impact to 65,000 weekday trips
    • Orange Line trains run every 16 minutes between Vienna and New Carrollton
    • Additional Orange Line trains run East Falls Church - New Carrollton
    • Silver Line trains run every 16 minutes
    • Expect crowding on Orange / Silver line trains
    • Orange / Silver customers should consider alternate travel options and travel outside of rush-hour periods if possible

     

    NOVEMBER 12 - DECEMBER 6

    Continuous single tracking between Greenbelt and College Park. Reduced service at Greenbelt station only.

     

    • Major impact to 12,400 weekday trips
    • Green Line trains to/from Greenbelt will run every 12 minutes during rush hours (regularly every 6 minutes)
    • No Rush+ Yellow Line service to/from Greenbelt
    • Near-normal service levels at all other stations
    • Greenbelt customers encouraged to use New Carrollton or College Park as alternates during this time
    • Buses on standby in the event of a service disruption in the single track zone

     

     DECEMBER 7 - 24

    Line segment shutdown between Pentagon and Rosslyn. Reduced service at all Blue Line stations.

     

    • Major impact to 12,000 weekday trips
    • No Blue Line service running
    • Yellow Line Rush+ will run all day between Franconia-Springfield & Mt Vernon Square
    • One station closed: Arlington Cemetery
    • Free shuttle buses will operate:
      • between Pentagon & Rosslyn
      • between Arlington Cemetery & Pentagon
    • Expect crowding on all Yellow Line trains between D.C. and Virginia
    • Blue Line customers should consider alternate travel options during this time
    • Blue Line service will run on Saturday, Dec. 17 for Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery

     

    JANUARY 2 - 13 and JANUARY 23 - FEBRUARY 3

    Continuous single tracking between Braddock Rd and Huntington / Van Dorn Street. Reduced service at all Yellow and Blue line stations.

     

    • Major impact to 50,000 weekday trips
    • Blue Line runs every 18 minutes between Franconia and Largo
    • Shuttle train runs Huntington - King Street only
    • Yellow Line every 6 minutes between Reagan National Airport and Mt Vernon Square only
    • Major reduction in service at all Blue / Yellow stations south of Reagan National Airport; except severe crowding on trains
    • All Blue / Yellow customers should consider alternate travel options & travel outside of rush-hour periods if possible; expect significant crowding on all Blue / Yellow trains
    • Normal Service Jan. 14-22 for the Inauguration.

     

    MARCH 6 - 19

    Continuous single tracking between West Falls Church and East Falls Church. Reduced service at all Orange and Silver line stations.

     

    • Major impact to 65,000 weekday trips
    • Orange Line trains every 16 minutes Vienna-New Carrollton
    • Additional Orange Line trains East Falls Church-New Carrollton
    • Silver Line every 16 minutes
    • Expect significant crowding on Orange / Silver line trains
    • Orange / Silver customers should consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush-hour periods if possible
    • Orange / Silver customers in Virginia may consider using East Falls Church or Ballston for more frequent service