WASHINGTON – Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said Thursday Metro officials chose to continue a program that tests a method to stop leaks along a segment of the Red Line, a problem with a history of causing delays in service.
Track work, including installation of “curtain grouting” in the tunnels, will lead to disrupted service for Red Line riders five weekends in a row, starting mid-October, Metro officials said Thursday in a news release.
Track work will affect weeknight service as well, as trains will single-track between Medical Center and Grosvenor stations on weekdays starting Oct. 16 at 9 p.m.
Metro officials have said water leaking into the Red Line section between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Farragut North stations causes about 75 percent of arcing insulators, instances in which electricity arcs and sometimes causes smoke, which can often lead to delays in service.
While the Red Line segment that has been plagued with leaks is nine miles long, Wiedefeld said the upcoming work will cover only a small portion of that segment.
“This is again just very small, it’s in the range of 4,000 feet,” Wiedefeld told reporters Thursday. “It’s not very much.”
He called the leak mitigation work part of the pilot program which occurred in July and August, in which a contractor began installing grouting using the curtain-grouting method.
Metro officials said in a June news release the nine-mile long section of the Red Line is the oldest bored tunnel in the entire Metrorail system, and therefore does not have protective coating to seal out water.
Buses will replace trains one weekend in October and one weekend in November, officials said.
On weekdays, Red Line trains inbound and outbound will operate on a single track between Medical Center and Grosvenor starting at 9 p.m., from Oct. 16 through Nov. 24. Officials advised riders they expect minor service delays to occur.
Shuttle buses will replace trains between Red Line stations Medical Center and Grosvenor:
- Saturday Oct. 28 and Sunday Oct. 29
- Saturday Nov. 18 and Sunday Nov. 19
Metro Red Line trains will single-track between Medical Center and Grosvenor stations for two weekends:
- Saturday Oct. 21, Sunday Oct. 22
- Saturday Nov. 11, Sunday Nov. 12
Trains will single-track between Medical Center and Twinbrook, but for other track work, one weekend:
- Saturday Nov. 4 and Sunday Nov. 5
Trains will single-track between Medical Center and Grosvenor stations weekdays Oct. 16 through Nov. 24 starting at 9 p.m.