Metro’s SafeTrack ending but rail hours will be cut

SafeTrack, Metro’s aggressive track maintenance project that disrupted rail riders for a year, ends on June 25. But the regular maintenance schedule that will replace SafeTrack is going to mean train service will end earlier each night.

Starting June 25 Metrorail service hours will be:

  • Monday-Thursday 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Friday 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
  • Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
  • Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Metro says it will use the additional hours for enhanced preventive maintenance, including cable testing to prevent smoke and fire incidents, stray current testing, trackbed cleaning, switch maintenance, torqueing (tightening fasteners, joint nuts and bolts) to eliminate excessive strain on infrastructure, and track geometry work to ensure the correct rail alignment.

“SafeTrack was the most aggressive track renewal program in Metro’s history, and it achieved its primary goals – but it all came with the cost of great inconvenience to our riders,” says Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Now, like every other mature transit system, we must do everything in our power to prevent another SafeTrack through a healthy program of preventive maintenance combined with planned capital projects.”

There will still be three major projects that will disrupt some rush hour service over the next 12 months. One of those will affect two Metrorail stations in Virginia.

Spring Project: Rebuild interlocking and grout pads outside Huntington

  • May 12-27, 2018 (10 commuting days)
  • Huntington and Eisenhower Avenue stations will be closed
  • Yellow Line service will operate at regular rush-hour intervals between Franconia-Springfield and Mt Vernon Square

The two other projects are:

Summer Project: Rebuild interlocking and grout pads outside Branch Avenue

  • August 5-20, 2017 (10 commuting days)
  • Branch Avenue and Suitland stations will be closed
  • Green Line service will operate normally from Naylor Road to Greenbelt
  • Overall, 89 out of 91 Metro stations will have normal rush hour service

Fall Project: Rebuild interlocking outside Takoma Station

  • November 25-December 10, 2017 (10 commuting days)
  • Takoma Station will be closed
  • During rush hours, Red Line service will run every 8 minutes between Glenmont & Silver Spring, every 8 minutes between Shady Grove & Fort Totten, and every 4 minutes between Grosvenor & NoMa-Gallaudet
  • Service on the Orange, Blue, Silver, Green, and Yellow lines will be unaffected



About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.