Delays allow for improvements to redline stations
Metro closed two stations on September 11, 2021; however, due to unforeseen circumstances relating to railcar shortages and materials issues for the canopy repair project, the redline closures will remain in effect for the Shady Grove and Rockville stations until January 2022.
According to a press release from Metro, The Rockville Canopy Project will replace the aging platform canopy and provide additional customer improvements at the Rockville station. The canopies at the Rockville and Shady Grove stations date back to the 1980s.
In addition to the canopy repair projects at both the Shady Grove and Rockville stations, Metro will also perform additional work to rehabilitate and repair the Park & Ride and Kiss & Ride lots at the Rockville station. At the Shady Grove Station, Metro will perform track work to keep trains running smoothly.
While the improvements at both stations were expected to be finished before the end of the year, the changes will extend into January 2022 to address railcar shortages and materials issues relating to the canopy’s glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) panels.
“Metro is committed to completing the Rockville Canopy Replacement Project with the highest quality materials. It’s more important we get the project done right the first time. We appreciate the community’s patience as we strive to improve the station and make it safer for everyone”—Paul J. Wiedefeld, Metro General Manager
Announcement coming after 748 railcars pulled offline because of safety measures.
Due to a derailment near the Arlington Cemetery Station on October 12, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) pulled all 748 7000-series cars offline. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found the car involved in the derailment had a fourth axle out of compliance with the specifications for the 7000-series car wheel and axle assembly. Similar defects were found in 7000-series cars not involved in the derailment. Once the railcars are deemed safe, they will return to service.
However, as a result, addressing the railcar shortage caused by removing Metro’s 7000-series fleet pauses the Rockville Canopy Project as additional trains are brought into service from the Shady Grove Rail Yard.
What does it mean for redline commuters?
According to WMATA although the Shady Grove and Rockville Stations will remain closed during the improvements, the other redline stations will remain open.
There will be a free shuttle bus service between Shady Grove, Rockville, and Twinbrook operating every 10 minutes seven days a week, during hours the rail system is open.
There will be a Red Line Express running between Shady Grove and Twinbrook during weekdays, operating every 5 minutes between 6am to 9am, and again 3:30pm to 6:30pm. In addition, the Red Line Express will run every 10 minutes 4:30am to 6am, 9am to 3:30pm, and 6:30pm to 9pm.
How are the closures at the Shady Grove and Rockville Stations affecting your commute? Let me know in the comments!