Thursday, May 05, 2016

Metro Rail in DC will announce major ballast-up rebuilding Saturday, with likely long-lasting single-tracking and weekend service curtailments

Adam Tuss of NBC4 (NBC Washington) reports that Metro will make a major announcement on plans for rebuilding part of Metrorail, from the ballast up, Friday, May 6, 2016, at 11 AM at the downtown Metro headquarters in Washington.  The video report (not embeddable) is here.

There is an extended podcast (audio only) of Tuss’s report here on WTOP radio.

The plans appear to include single tracking many lines for several weeks while rail lines are rebuilt “from ballast up”.  A few segments of two or three stations could be closed.  Night weekend service might be eliminated, which could have a serious impact on bars and restaurants unless effective bus transportation is provided along the same routes and the public has confidence in it.  (Security is an issue, as with yesterday’s incident in NE ).  Another problem would be late night transportation from sports games, especially the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball (who are playing well right now).

Under pressure from the FTA and NTSB, new general manager Paul Wiedefeld is cracking down.

Wiedefeld has hinted more recently that total shutdowns of entire lines for months probably will not happen, but single tracking and only weekday service for some months on some lines might happen.
A good question is, how often does New York City rebuild its own transit railbeds?

Update: May 6

The Metro Stations will start closing at midnight weekends on Friday June 3.  It is not known whether replacement bus service along these routes will be provided. The detailed Safe Track Plan is here.  

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