Recommendation 16-294.1 to WMATA 

Rail Transit OPS is issuing an urgent recommendation to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to implement a weekend line segment shutdown of the Grosvenor and White Flint stations on the Red Line, along with weekend continuous single track operation at Bethesda and Medical Center via Track A2, the typical outbound track. From Twinbrook to Shady Grove an 8 car shuttle train could be operated. 

Operating headways in such a scenario would be as follow:

Normal Service operations between Glenmont and Friendship Heights. 

20 min headways from Friendship Heights – Medical Center as well as Twinbrook – Shady Grove 

Shuttle bus bridge could be operated from   Twinbrook to Medical Center at 12-15 min headways with stops at White Flint and Grosvenor 

Based on numerous speed restrictions implemented over the past two months and their subsequent impact on rail service, Rail Transit OPS is recommending an extended period of maintenance between the White Flint and Medical Center stations.

Several slow (“code red”) speed restrictions are currently in place on this section of track, which limit trains to a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour. The five restrictions currently in place exist primarily due to loose and missing fasteners, leading to potential track gauge problems.

Rail Transit OPS recommends a combined weekend shutdown of the White Flint and Grosvenor stations, with additional single-tracking from Medical Center to Friendship Heights by way of track A2, in order to ensure proper track alignment and securement throughout this section.

The combined impact of the speed restrictions in this section of the Red Line contributes to noticeable bunching and delays during peak rush periods, and causes passenger delays and decreased rail throughput.

Speed restrictions between White Flint and Medical Center implemented over the past two months due to rail defects:

  • 35mph speed restriction, White Flint -> Grosvenor, 4000′ from A1 620+00 to A1 580+00. Last verified 10/19/2016. (43, 10/5/2016-)
  • 35mph speed restriction, Grosvenor -> Medical Center (was 15mph), 2000′ from A1 500+00 to A1 480+00. Last verified 10/19/2016. (47, 10/6/2016-)
  • 35mph speed restriction, Grosvenor -> Medical Center (was 15mph), 3000′ from A1 477+00 to Medical Center platform, (was: 600′ on either side of A1 463+35) due to defective fasteners at A1 468+00. Gauge rods installed temporarily. Original source: WMATA ROCC. Last verified 10/19/2016. (47, 10/17/2016-)
  • 15mph speed restriction from Medical Center -> Grosvenor due to six consecutive fasteners with loose or missing fasteners on the right rail, 1300′ from A2 536+00 to A2 549+00, defect at A2 542+75. Source: WMATA ROCC (64, 10/19/2016-)
  • 15mph slow speed restriction, Grosvenor -> White Flint, due to defective fasteners, from A2 569+00 to A2 611+00 (65, 10/19/2016-)
  • 15mph speed restriction, Grosvenor -> White Flint (33, 9/24/2016-10/6/2016)
  • 15mph speed restriction, Medical Center -> Grosvenor (9/19/2016-9/24/2016)
  • 10mph speed restriction, Grosvenor -> Medical Center (9/13/2016-~9/19/2016)
  • 40mph speed restriction, Medical Center -> Grosvenor (8/19/2016-8/20/2016)