For immediate release: February 24, 2023

Late-night Metrorail service will be reduced weeknights for three weeks of maintenance, affecting four lines beginning Feb. 27

Metro will perform critical work, to maintain the tracks during the late-night and overnight hours weeknights, Monday through Thursday, Feb. 27 – Mar. 2, Mar. 6 – 9, and Mar. 13-16. Work will begin at 10 p.m. prior to the system closing, with trains single tracking between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery on the Blue and Blue+ lines, and between Foggy Bottom and Ballston on the Orange and Silver lines.

The single-track area is three miles long and coupled with the Yellow Line Bridge closure requires train service to be reduced to every 26 minutes on the four lines. Trains will gradually transition from the end of the lines starting at 9 p.m. until all trains are operating every 26 minutes by 10 p.m. as follows:

Blue Line Franconia-Springfield to Downtown Largo

Orange Line Vienna to New Carrollton

Silver Line Ashburn to Ballston; transfer to/from Orange Line to continue trip

Blue Line+ Huntington to National Airport; transfer to/from Blue Line to continue trip

Trains will take turns going through the single track, two at a time in each direction. Between Rosslyn and Stadium-Armory Orange and Blue line trains will operate back-to-back with two minutes between them, followed by a 24-minute gap while trains come through in the opposite direction. Trains will arrive every 26 minutes at all other stations.

Over the three-week period, work crews will replace the grout pads, concrete slabs that must support the weight of trains and to which the tracks are anchored. Over time grout pads must be replaced, an arduous and time-consuming process. The bolts, fasteners, insulators and rail are removed first and each grout pad demolished. Then new concrete is poured into a mold and cured for several hours before reinstalling the rail. 

By starting the work early, track crews can begin to mobilize and get equipment into position to get as much work done as possible before the system opens in the morning. Ridership after 10 p.m. only accounts for about four percent of total ridership systemwide, minimizing the impact to customers and allowing more work to get done.

Metro will have additional strategic buses available if necessary to add service on selected routes as an alternative. Orange and Silver Line customers may also consider the 38B Metrobus which operates between Farragut Square and Ballston. Check Metro’s Trip Planner and select bus only to find additional Metrobus alternatives.

grout pad damage

Above: Work crews will replace busted grout pads over the course of three weeks.