- The Washington Times - Friday, May 27, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

What’s coming down the track this summer will require Metro riders to bring patience along with their farecards.

The transit agency is planning rail repairs that will force trains to share a single track on some lines and involve station closures during most summer weekends.

Officials say summer is a good time for such undertakings because many people in the region are on vacation or spending weekends away.

With Memorial Day marking the traditional start of summer, Metro picked this weekend to start.

Crews will modernize a switching mechanism outside the Stadium-Armory station in Southeast. Trains will run on one track between Eastern Market and Addison Road on the Blue Line, and Eastern Market and Cheverly on the Orange Line.

To keep the rest of those lines operating close to a normal schedule, every other Blue or Orange train will terminate at Eastern Market and return to Vienna on the Orange Line and Franconia-Springfield on the Blue Line.

Metro’s chief operating officer for rail, Steven Feil, said the agency is doing its best to keep service running without delays.

“The majority of this work is being done late at night and during weekends,” Mr. Feil said. “However, some work during regular service hours cannot be avoided.”

He said the track renovation is part of a major overhaul and repair plan.

The oldest section of the system — on the Red Line between Farragut North and Rhode Island Avenue — turned 29 in March.

Mr. Feil said the work needs to be done to keep the subway running “the next 30 years and beyond.”

The projects will continue through Labor Day, but Metro already has its eye on next fall and winter, when projects will come to the Virginia sections of the Orange and Blue lines.

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