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Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way

7/25/2008



Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

WMATA board approves new infrastructure rehab strategy


Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) board yesterday approved the transit agency's first system infrastructure rehabilitation program designed to streamline Metrorail system upgrades and minimize customer delays.

Currently, multiple contractors, multiple rehab contracts and Metrorail maintenance workers compete for track time. Workers only have a small track window of two to three hours during weeknights when the rail system is closed.

"The new system infrastructure renewal program will increase the work window to six to eight hours and maximize our ability to keep the system in a state of good repair with minimal disruption to our customers," said WMATA Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Gerald Francis in a prepared statement. "More efficient use of time and the ability to combine and concentrate work will increase productivity and help us finish the work faster."

The program's first project is scheduled for the Red Line between Dupont Circle and Silver Spring Metrorail stations next year. The $96 million Red Line rehab will include traction power, automatic train control and communications upgrades; track fastener and tunnel lighting replacement; and tunnel ventilation and fire stand pipe rehabilitation. Other potential project work includes station rehabilitation work, such as platform slab and tile replacement, canopy roof replacements, station wall repairs, air conditioning and ventilation equipment rehabilitation and replacement, lighting change-outs, upgrades to public address systems, and elevator and escalator rehabilitation.

All work will take place after the evening rush hour, starting at 10 p.m. or later in the downtown core and at 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. in non-downtown areas. Trains will share one track through the designated work area.

"We believe customers will ultimately benefit from this approach because we'll be able to improve reliability and on-time performance," Francis said.



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