SAFETY SURGE: Metro unveils massive year-long plan to fix rail system, repair tracks

- Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld outlined a major plan Friday morning to address system-wide maintenance issues and repair tracks on the Metrorail system. The plan, they're calling SafeTrack, outlines what a massive effort to address safety recommendations and rehabilitate the system on an accelerated basis, Metro says.

WMATA's plan accelerates three years of work into one year, and includes expanded track work hours on weekends, weeknights and during rush hours in certain cases. The details released by Metro on Friday morning are a draft, but Wiedefeld said he hoped the plan would be finalized by May 16.

The plan will include weeknight track work beginning at 8 pm. In Friday's news conference, Wiedefeld also said beginning June 3, Metro will close on Friday and Saturday nights at midnight, as it does the rest of the nights of the week. Currently, Metro is open until 3 am on weekends. There will also be no extended hours, meaning no early openings or late closings, to accommodate special events. 

BELOW IS A COMPLETE LIST OF 15 SERVICE CHANGES, WHICH METRO CALLS "SAFETY SURGES," INCLUDED IN THE PLAN:

JUNE 4 - 19 (15 DAYS)
BLUE LINE - REDUCED SERVICE AT FRANCONIA-SPRINGFIELD & VAN DORN STREET
continuous single tracking between Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn St.
Trains from Franconia every 24 mins, From Van Dorn St. every 12 mins
Shuttle buses during rush hour between Franconia and Pentagon

JUNE 20 - JULY 3 (13 DAYS)
GREEN & YELLOW LINES - REDUCED SERVICE AT GREENBELT ONLY
Continuous single tracking between Greenbelt and College Park
Trains from Greenbelt every 12 minutes
Buses on standby in the event of a disruption in single tracking zone

JULY 5 (10 PM) - JULY 12 (7 DAYS)
BLUE & YELLOW LINES - REDUCED SERVICE AT ALL TIMES IN MANY STATIONS, PRIMARILY YELLOW & BLUE LINES IN VIRGINIA
Line segment shutdown between National Airport and Braddock Road
Trains run every 12 minutes
Shuttle buses operate iva Metroway between Braddock Road, Crystal City, and Pentagon City
Service between DC and National Airport available via train

JULY 12 - 19 (7 DAYS)
BLUE & YELLOW LINES - REDUCED SERVICE AT ALL TIMES IN MANY STATIONS, PRIMARILY YELLOW & BLUE LINES IN VIRGINIA

Line segment shutdown between National Airport and Pentagon City
Trains run every 12 minutes
Shuttle buses operate via Metroway between Braddock Road, Crystal City and Pentagon City
Reagan National Airport served via shuttle bus to and from Pentagon City and Braddock Road

JULY 20 - JULY 31 (11 DAYS)
GREEN & YELLOW LINES - REDUCED SERVICE AT GREENBELT

Continuous single tracking between Greenbelt and College Park
Trains from Greenbelt every 12 minutes
Buses on standby in the event of a disruption in single tracking zone

AUGUST 1-8 (7 DAYS)
RED LINE - REDUCED SERVICE AT MOST RED LINE STATIONS

Continuous single tracking between Takoma Park & Silver Spring
Trains from Shady Grove to NoMa will run every 6 minutes
Trains from Glenmont to Grosvenor will run every 12 minutes

AUGUST 9-19 (10 DAYS)
RED LINE - REDUCED SERVICE AT SHADY GROVE & ROCKVILLE

Continuous single tracking between Shady Grove and Twinbrook
Trains from Shady Grove and Rockville run every 18 minutes
Buses on standby in the event of a service disruption in single track zone

AUGUST 20 - SEPTEMBER 56 (16 DAYS)
ORANGE, BLUE, SILVER LINES - REDUCED SERVICE AT ALL STATIONS

Line segment shutdown between Eastern Market and Minnesota/Benning Road
Stadium-Armory and Potomac Avenue stations closed
Orange Line: trains run every 10 minutes
Silver Line: trains run every 10 minutes
Blue Line: trains run every 12 minutes between Franconia and Arlingon Cemetery

SEPTEMBER 9 - OCTOBER 21 (42 DAYS)
ORANGE LINE - REDUCED SERVICE AT VIENNA & DUNN LORING STATIONS

Continuous single tracking between Vienna and West Falls Church
Trains at Vienna and Dunn Loring run every 18 minutes

OCTOBER 9 - NOVEMBER 2 (23 DAYS)
RED LINE - REDUCED SERVICE AT MOST RED LINE STATIONS

Line segment shutdown between NoMa and Fort Totten
Trains in two segments:
Shady Grove to NoMa - run every 5 minutes
Glenmont to Fort Totten - run every 10 minutes

NOVEMBER 2-12 (10 DAYS)
ORANGE & SILVER LINES -  REDUCED SERVICE AT ALL STATIONS

Trains from Vienna to New Carrollton run every 16 minutes
Silver line trains every 16 minutes
Addtional trains added East Falls Church to New Carrollton

NOVEMBER 12 - DECEMBER 5 (23 DAYS)
ORANGE & SILVER LINES - REDUCED SERVICE AT ALL STATIONS

Continuous single tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston
Trains run every 18 minutes between Vienna and Ballston
Silver Line trains run every 18 minutes
Additional trains added Ballston to New Carrollton

DECEMBER 6-24 (18 DAYS)
BLUE LINE - REDUCED SERVICE AT ALL STATIONS

Line segment shutdown between Pentagon and Rosslyn
Arlington Cemetery Station closed (note: There will be service on Saturday, December 17 for Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery)
Blue Line service between Franconia-Springfield and Arlington Cemetery only
Shuttle buses between Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery

MARCH 6-14 (14 DAYS)
ORANGE AND SILVER LINE - REDUCED SERVICE AT ALL STATIONS

Continuous single tracking between West Falls Church and East Falls Church
Trains run every 16 minutes between Vienna and New Carrollton
Silver Line trains run every 16 minutes
Trains added from East Falls Church to New Carrollton

APRIL 16 - MAY 8 (21 DAYS)
BLUE & YELLOW LINE  - REDUCED SERVICE AT ALL STATIONS

Continuous single trackign between Braddock Road and Huntington/Van Dorn St.
Blue Line Trains run every 18 minutes
Yellow Line trains run every 6 minutes between National Airport & Mt. Vernon Square
Shuttle train between Huntington and King Street

JANUARY 2 - MARCH 7, 2017
RED LINE - SINGLE TRACKING AFTER 8 PM

Single tracking starting at 8 pm EVERY NIGHT except Inauguration Week from Friendship Heights to Medical Center
Trains will run every 15-20 minutes

CLICK HERE TO REVIEW THE ENTIRE PLAN RELEASED BY METRO.

The following is a list of the work that is included in the plan: 

- Tunnel lighting
- Third rail cables and boots
- Emergency signage
- Debris clearing
- Ventilation work and fan control
- Tunnel washing
- Insulator replacement
- Fastener replacement
- Rail renewal
- Radio system/cell phone installation
- Interlocking maintenance
- Third rail cover boards

Metro's recent issues have had riders calling for change. During the recent day-long shutdown, many passengers expressed their support for Wiedefeld's decision to take action and address the problems-- even if it meant they were inconvenienced. But even the shutdown didn't stop Metro's issues, many of which are the result of arcing insulators on the third rail, which cause smoke and in some cases fires on the tracks. 

On Thursday, two separate incidents at the Federal Center SW station sparked fire and massive smoke from the tracks, and Wiedefeld ordered the station closed until all of the insulators on the tracks could be replaced. Video released by Metro showed the first incident in the morning, and an apparent explosion and smoke after a train pulled away from the station's platform. That shutdown meant major delays for passengers who commute on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines. 

On Friday, Metro's troubles continued on the Red Line, after a power outage at the Van Ness Station forced trains to bypass the station. There were also signal problems on the Blue and Yellow lines.

MONDAY ON FOX 5: Wiedefeld will join FOX 5 News Morning in studio on Monday, May 9 at 7:30 am, and we'll ask him your questions about the plan to fix the system. Post your questions on our FOX 5 DC Facebook page, or tweet us @fox5dc on Twitter -- and remember to include the hashtag #askmetrogm

CLICK HERE TO REVIEW THE ENTIRE PLAN RELEASED BY METRO.

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