Metro Reveals Three-Year Capital Construction Plans: Red Line Station Closures in the Spotlight

Metro has unveiled plans for significant capital construction projects over the next three years aimed at modernizing the Metrorail system, enhancing safety and reliability, and ensuring proper maintenance.

Scheduled closures are set to take place between the summers of 2024 and 2026, with additional construction work planned during the winter holiday seasons.

Commencing in early June, the Glenmont, Wheaton, Forest Glen, Silver Spring, and Takoma stations on the Red Line will undergo temporary closure. This closure is expected to last until early September, with the potential for part of the work zone to be reduced to allow for the reopening of the Takoma station before the completion of all construction activities.

According to a press release, the planned improvements encompass upgrading the signaling system, installing communication and train control cables, and repairing the interlocking infrastructure that enables trains to transition between tracks outside of the Takoma station. Detailed service arrangements, including the deployment of express and local shuttle buses free of charge, are currently being finalized and will be communicated at least a month before the commencement of the closure period.

The construction efforts are being coordinated with the Maryland Transit Administration Purple Line Project, which involves the construction of a new mezzanine at the Silver Spring station platform to facilitate seamless access between Metro services and the future MTA Purple Line. While the Maryland Purple Line light rail system operates independently from the Metrorail network, establishing this new connection necessitates utilizing both tracks for an extended duration and cannot be executed safely and promptly solely through single tracking operations.

Moreover, the scope of work includes tasks such as leak mitigation, replacement of the automatic train control system, installation of traction power cables, replacement of the drain pumping station and tunnel standpipe, as well as maintenance of elevators and escalators.

After the Red Line closure this summer, significant construction projects are scheduled for the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines from December 2024 to January 2025. Additionally, work is planned for the Blue and Green lines in the summer of 2025, the Green and Yellow lines from the winter of 2025 to the winter of 2026, and additional construction on the Red Line in the summer of 2026.

Metro said that by enhancing the planning and scheduling of track maintenance activities throughout the summer, winter, and extended weekends, as opposed to relying extensively on single-tracking, the agency has successfully minimized the frequency of planned service disruptions. Over the past seven years, the impact on the budgeted service has decreased by half to just four percent, with a higher number of weekends now devoid of track work across nearly all lines.

Photo: © SeanPavonePhoto – stock.adobe.com

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