WASHINGTON - Metro is starting a "maintenance surge" and Red Line riders will begin to see its effects starting Thursday when single tracking begins.
On Thursday and Friday, Red Line trains between Medical Center and Van Ness stations will single track from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and single tracking will resume from 8 p.m. through until closing.
The repairs on the Red Line are being done to fix water leaks that are causing electrical problems, fires and smoke. The maintenance surge will include the use of thermal imaging to spot areas where water is seeping into the underground tunnel as well as inspecting insulators, track and cables in the tunnel. The goal is to stop the water leaks from rusting and corroding the electrical lines on the tracks.
"We are looking at all the cables - orange boots and just cables in general, the track, anything with the third rail itself - basically we patch the leaks," said Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld. "But as you know, it's a losing battle out there. It's like a leaky basement and until you get in and redo it, you can't control it."
Metro is asking passengers at the Bethesda, Friendship Heights and Tenleytown stations to observe station signs and announcements to board trains on the proper platform. Train service will depart end-of-line stations approximately every 15 minutes. Additional trains will operate midday between the Farragut North and Silver Spring stations.
Track work on the Red Line will continue during the weekend as well. Metro expects regular service to begin again on Monday. Delays are expected.