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WMATA gears up for 'severe' service outages on Orange, Silver lines

Crews perform work for WMATA's second safety surge, which took place in summer.
Photo – WMATA

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) next week will begin a 24-day repair surge that will result in major service reductions for Orange and Silver line trains.

During the surge, trains will share a single track between the West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations in Virginia to allow crews to rebuild a complex area of track. As a result of the single tracking, Orange and Silver line trains will operate every 20 minutes, marking a two-thirds reduction in service.

The work is the 11th repair surge in WMATA's SafeTrack accelerated maintenance plan. It's also the fourth surge in the area over the past six months.

WMATA plans to install 12,000 new rail ties and 25,000 feet of new rail over 20 miles of track between Vienna and Ballston, Va.

"Riders who made it through the previous surges on the Orange and Silver lines will find this one more severe," said Paul Wiedefeld, WMATA's general manager and chief executive officer. "We need about half of all riders on the Orange and Silver lines to stay off Metrorail altogether."

The agency will run free weekday rush-hour shuttles to relieve crowded trains. The work will begin Nov. 28.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/23/2016