Call it the commuter’s lament: Metro says it will shutter stations on the Orange Line in Arlington and Fairfax counties for weeks this summer to replace rail and upgrade old cables.
The work will close Metro stations west of Ballston and disrupt Silver Line access. Two phases across June and July are planned.
The first phase is expected to run from June 3 to June 26. During that time, the East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring, and Vienna stations will be closed. The 23-day East Falls Church station shutdown means Metrorail riders won’t be able to hop on or off the Silver Line there.
The second phase will stretch from June 27 to July 17. In that phase, the Dunn Loring and Vienna stations will remain closed for an additional 21 days, bringing their grand total shutdown time to 44 days. The East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations are expected to be open for Metrorail riders by then, at least.
According to Metro, which announced the shutdowns Tuesday, the agency’s infrastructure team will prioritize replacing steel rails along the Orange Line that are 40 years old and “significantly more susceptible to rail breaks than rail in any other part of the system.”
Old copper cables will be upgraded to fiber optic, allowing for “advanced radio, signal, and train communication technology.”
Metro closed the same Orange Line stations in Virginia back in 2020 for maintenance.
Andy Off, executive vice president of infrastructure for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, said in a statement that the “work is essential to safe and reliable rail service.”
“We are working strategically to target maintenance locations and minimize the impacts on customers as we conduct this critical work to upgrade systems, improve reliability and modernize station facilities,” Off said.
Maryland Metrorail Disruptions
Some disruptions are on the way for the Maryland end of the Orange Line as well. Trains will single-track for 10 days between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly from May 12 to May 22. The goal there is to finish roofing work at the Minnesota Avenue, Deanwood, and Cheverly stations that require PEPCO to de-energize the power lines.
If you take the Green Line in Maryland, a stretch of that is getting closed this summer for more than a month: There will be a 44-day shutdown from Fort Totten to Greenbelt from July 22 to Sept. 4.
Shuttle service and travel alternatives for riders impacted by the closures haven’t been announced yet. Metro says it is “working closely with regional partners” to develop a plan for customers and more information will be made available later.
Metro has more details online about its summer maintenance work.
Feature image courtesy WMATA.
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