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Metrorail to run most service tomorrow

WMATA.com is currently only sporadically available, probably because everyone is trying to load the press release they just posted about tomorrow's service.

The short summary: Metrorail will open at 5 am and run on all lines except the Orange west of Ballston and the Red north of Medical Center. Trains will run with longer headways so prepare for crowds. Most but not all of the bus routes running today will also run tomorrow, and WMATA will add more as roads become passable.

Below is the complete press release they just sent out. Social media users, please star/retweet/whatever this (short URL is http://bit.ly/b2YWpd) so other people can get this important information.

Update: Matt Johnson has created a map showing tomorrow's service:

Update 2: MARC has no Brunswick or Camden Line service. The Penn Line is running on the "S" schedule. Trains 423, 427, 431, 414, and 416 are cancelled. VRE is running the "S" schedule on both lines.

The Metrorail system will open at 5 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 12, with limited service and will close at midnight instead of 3 a.m. to allow work crews the additional overnight hours to continue to clear the tracks, rail yards and rail "switches," which are critical track components that allow trains to maneuver around problem areas by switching tracks. A limited number of Metrobus routes will be in service Friday with the number expected to grow as more roadways become passable. MetroAccess trips will begin at 6:45 a.m., however the usual door-to-door service will be shifted to curb-to-curb service if it is not safe to offer door-to-door service.

Nine of Metro's 86 stations will remain closed to start the day on Friday as work crews continue to dig out the tracks, many of which have snow drifts of up to six feet.

Metrorail service to start Friday morning will include all Green, Yellow and Blue line stations. The Red Line will operate between Medical Center and Glenmont Metrorail stations with Grosvenor-Strathmore, White Flint, Twinbrook, Rockville and Shady Grove Metrorail stations remaining closed due to heavy snow that remains on the tracks. The Orange Line will operate between New Carrollton and Ballston Metrorail stations with East Falls Church, West Falls Church-VT/UVA, Dunn Loring-Merrifield and Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metrorail stations remaining closed, also due to heavy snow on the tracks, including snow drifts of three to six feet.

Metrorail trains will operate at 20- to 25-minute intervals above ground and 10- to 15-minute intervals below ground. The longer than usual intervals are a result of 35 mph speed restrictions and the snow-covered switches.

Approximately 70 percent of parking spaces at Metrorail stations will be available for automobiles as many surface parking spaces are being used to pile snow to make other spaces available for automobiles. The top levels of 22 Metrorail parking garages are not expected to be available for parking. Work crews will address those top levels starting Friday.

Summary of Metrorail service expected for Friday, Feb. 12

  • Red Line limited service: Medical Center to Glenmont
  • Orange Line limited service: Ballston to New Carrollton
  • Blue Line all stations open: Franconia-Springfield to Largo Town Center
  • Green Line all stations open: Greenbelt to Branch Avenue
  • Yellow Line all stations open: Huntington to Fort Totten
Metrobus service

Metrobus will operate starting at its normal time on Friday with most buses sticking to streets along snow emergency routes. Buses will serve more neighborhoods as the streets become passable. The routes listed below have been in service since Thursday afternoon with more routes expected to be operating Friday. As the Metrobus system expands to include more routes, those routes will be posted on Metro's Web site, www.metroopensdoors.com.

Customers are reminded to please use caution near bus stops as many remain under ice and snow. Local jurisdictions are responsible for clearing bus stops. Local residents can help their neighbors by shoveling the bus stops along the sidewalks near their homes so that people are not standing in the icy streets while traffic is passing.

Bus routes operating in the District of Columbia
31 (Friendship Heights to Foggy Bottom-GWU)
32 and 36 (Friendship Heights to Potomac Ave)
34 (Archives to Branch Ave)
52 and 54 (From 14th Street and Colorado Ave to L'Enfant Plaza)
64 (Fort Totten to Georgia Ave-Petworth)
70 (Silver Spring to Canal and P Street, SW)
71 (Silver Spring to Archives) will terminate at Canal and P Street, SW
79 (Silver Spring to Archives)
80 (Fort Totten to Gallery Pl-Chinatown)
82 (Rhode Island Ave to Gallery Pl-Chinatown)
P6 (Anacostia to Eckington)
S4 (Silver Spring to Federal Triangle)
U8 (Capitol Heights to Benning Heights)
X2 (Minnesota Ave to Union Station)
V7 line (Deanwood to Potomac Ave)

Bus routes operating in Maryland
J2 (Bethesda to Silver Spring)
P12 (Eastover to Addison Road), bypassing United Medical Center
Q2 (Silver Spring to Wheaton)
Y5, Y7 and Y8 (Wheaton to Leisure World)
Z8 and Z9 (Silver Spring to Briggs Chaney Road Park and Ride

Bus routes operating in Virginia
1C (Fair Oaks to Dunn Loring)
2C (Washington Boulevard to Vienna)
16 line (Pentagon to Baileys Crossroads)
28A (Alexandria to Tysons Corner), bypassing Seven Corners and Southern Towers

MetroAccess
MetroAccess trips will begin at 6:45 a.m., however the usual door-to-door service will be shifted to curb-to-curb service if it is not safe to offer door-to-door service.

How to get Updates on Winter Weather Conditions

There are a variety of ways for customers to stay informed during a major storm. Metro constantly updates local news media of Metro service changes. Information is also available on Metro's home page at www.metroopensdoors.com. Customers can also subscribe to e-Alerts and receive up-to-date service disruption information on Metrorail and MetroAccess.

News release issued at 7:04 pm, February 11, 2010.

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

Comments

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"Metrorail trains will operate at 20- to 25-minute intervals above ground and 10- to 15-minute intervals below ground."

Huh? What about tracks that are half underground/half above ground, like the yellow line thru VA? I guess they revert to the longer time? 25 minute headways at L'Enfant Plaza on a work day = no fun

by frank on Feb 11, 2010 8:36 pm • linkreport

The earlier release about the bus service in Virginia was not correct. In addition to the 10B, I saw the 10A running. Others saw the 10E. This later release says that none of these are running tomorrow. But the inaccuracies in the earlier release put this into question.

by The Arlandrian on Feb 11, 2010 8:54 pm • linkreport

What about routes that were on today's press relase that aren't listed for tomorrow. I know the B2 and 38B were part of today's service resumptions but aren't listed for tomorrow. Just an oversight or no?

by Jason on Feb 11, 2010 9:01 pm • linkreport

The 2C does not run between Ballston and Vienna as the annoucement states. It runs between Ballston and Tysons Corner (via Dunn Loring). Since I cannot access wmata.com, I'll assume this is their typo. Or is this another great example of their confusing antics by running snow service to places they wouldn't normally go (i.e. like the Blue Line going to Ballston).

by James on Feb 11, 2010 9:27 pm • linkreport

Arlandrian,
WMATA has been wrong all week. Same story on Tuesday.
Delray-ian

by spookiness on Feb 11, 2010 9:34 pm • linkreport

Hmm there are no stations with parking available on the shady grove portion of the red line. Guess that means another day off for a lot of commuters.

by Matt R on Feb 11, 2010 9:56 pm • linkreport

Piggybacking off Arlandrian's post, I'm pretty sure I saw a 9A bus running this afternoon...

by Froggie on Feb 11, 2010 10:04 pm • linkreport

ReCaptcha: "doody" "blandishments" a little highbrow/lowbrow commentary on this mess.

by horseydeucey on Feb 11, 2010 10:05 pm • linkreport

I find it frustrating that no buses will be going over the Sousa Bridge, how am I suppose to get to work?

by Erica on Feb 11, 2010 10:12 pm • linkreport

The list of routes fairfax connector will be operating.

See http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/connector/ for details

North County (operates like Saturday)
574*
605*
950* (only Reston Town Center to Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride)
RIBS 1* 2* 3* & 4*

South County (operates Saturday hrs, but weekday frequencies)
101*
109*
151*
152*
161*
162*
171*
310*
321*
322*
401
402

West County
None

Subject to change if WFC or Vienna stations open.

*Some portions of these routes will not be served, check http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/connector/sc_snow.htm for details.

by Michael Perkins on Feb 11, 2010 10:19 pm • linkreport

Aaaand, just got word from Fairfax that RIBS 5 will also be operating like a Saturday, too.

by Michael Perkins on Feb 11, 2010 10:33 pm • linkreport

Wow. Getting to Tyson's is going to suck tomorrow. Maybe I'll work from home one more day.

by jcm on Feb 11, 2010 11:09 pm • linkreport

Greaaaaat. I walk to Vienna Metro, but from there I'm stuck. And I really do need to get into the city tomorrow at some point, because Amtrak is actually running and I have a ticket to NYC in the evening.

It's a bit late in the day, but is there any hope of setting up an impromptu slug line at Vienna for poor car-less commuters to help someone with a car get into the 66 HOV lane? If I can get to anywhere on the operational parts of the Orange or Blue lines (I work at Braddock Road), I would be incredibly grateful.

by sg on Feb 11, 2010 11:57 pm • linkreport

Has metro actually cleared any track since it stopped snowing?

by mike on Feb 12, 2010 1:49 am • linkreport

Dallas supposedly just got 5-10 inches of snow.

Anybody know if their rail lines canceled service? How are their plows doing? I assume dallas is less snow-ready than DC.

by J on Feb 12, 2010 4:25 am • linkreport

So about that bus service -- I live in Shirlington on the 7C line; the roads seemed just fine yesterday when I slogged on foot to the Harris Teeter at Shirlington so I don't get why the 7C, which doesn't have to deal with the winding roads in Fairlington, isn't operating. Extremely frustrating! I guess I'll put on my yaktraks and slog to the Shirlington transit center in the vain hope that some bus will be going eventually in the direction of the Pentagon metro.

UGH.

by ArlVA on Feb 12, 2010 6:22 am • linkreport

I ewncourage you to remove the dashed lines and make them solid for the above ground trains that are running today. The dashes may be a bit confusing- it was for me at first- since waiting 20-25 minutes for a train is quite normal for the average DC area resident! Also headways on the red line in MoCo seem to only be 3 to 5 minutes.... at least this morning. And they appear to be going to Shady Grove as well!

Wheaton
Cars Destination Minutes
6 Glenmont 3
Cars Destination Minutes
6 Grosvenor 4
8 Shady Grove 7
6 Grosvenor 10

by tom a. on Feb 12, 2010 7:10 am • linkreport

@ tom a.: Twinbrook, White Flint and Grosvenor sure looked closed as I drove my girlfriend down Rockville Pike to get to Medical Center. The kiss and ride there was insane, which I guess you'd expect considering it's the first red line station open on the western side (and since there's no parking there).

by Andy R on Feb 12, 2010 7:42 am • linkreport

Bad news for me, since none of the three bus lines reasonably close to my workplace in VA are listed. Oh well, that's what leave is for.

I was just looking at the GSA Telework site, and I wouldn't have been any better off teleworking this week. GSA's Telework sites are almost all in the outer burbs and not Metro-friendly either. If we want teleworking to succeed, GSA and OPM are going to have to rethink where to site the telework centers.

by Matt W on Feb 12, 2010 8:45 am • linkreport

@tom a.:
The "next train" signs via the WMATA website have displayed the end-of-line station as a destination all week, despite the fact that no trains were getting through. At least right now, trains are still only operating between Glenmont and White Flint (Grosvenor and White Flint opened a little while ago). So don't expect to get through just because the computer next train display says so. I suppose the coding can't handle short-turns.

The platform signs have been working, however, for the most part. They do not seem to work very well during single-tracking, but otherwise they display the correct terminus (even if not the end-of-line).

by Matt Johnson on Feb 12, 2010 8:59 am • linkreport

Those "next train" signs are a joke. I waited 20 minutes this morning for a train that the sign said would arrive in 8 minutes.

by Catoe Nomo' on Feb 12, 2010 10:00 am • linkreport

So, why exactly the long headways? The federal gov't is open today. Seriously, metro, WTF?

by Jasper on Feb 12, 2010 10:24 am • linkreport

@Catoe Nomo':
The "Next Train" signs are inaccurate because train travel times are less predictable. With aboveground speeds limited to 35 mph and lower frequencies increasing station crowding, it's not easy for the signs to adjust to the conditions.

@Jasper:
Long headways are due to a couple of things:
1. Single-tracking: Because railyards are still buried in snow or are inaccessible (West Falls Church, Shady Grove railyards), many of the railcars stored in tunnels are still there. One reader reports that trains were stored on Track 1 [New Carrollton] on the Orange Line over the entire distance between Ballston and Clarendon. This means that this morning, the Orange Line was operating on one track between Court House (non-inclusive) and East Falls Church (inclusive). This means lower headways.
2. Speed restrictions: Aboveground service is limited to 35 mph today due to snow accumulation and low-adhesion conditions. Lower speeds mean fewer trains and lower throughput. This translates to longer intervals between trains.
3. Railcar availability: With at least half the railcar fleet buried under snow in the railyards, Metro does not have as many cars available for service. Fewer trains means longer wait times.

@tom. a.:
After riding on the system this morning, I have a theory about the "Next Train" signs on the website and the platform. The ones on the platform and website seem to be accurate as long as the destination station is a coded destination in the train's computer. For instance, over the weekend, the signs on Red Line trains and on the platforms said "Medical Center" and "Union Station".

When the final station is not a coded destination, the signs on the platform default to the scheduled terminus of the train. For instance, White Flint is not a coded destination. So platform signs default to the scheduled terminal (Grosvenor or Shady Grove) and the train signs say "special".

by Matt Johnson on Feb 12, 2010 11:08 am • linkreport

@ Matt: Thanks for your answer. It is very informative. the following is not an attack on your answers, but on WMATA's short-sighted insanity.

The arguments make little sense.

1: Single-tracking: If you reduce headways, you need more trains, less storage and less single-tracking.

2: I am not sure if lower speeds change anything else than a longer travel time. Why would it mean less trains? A 5 minute headway is a 5 minute headway, whether you go 60 or 35. In fact, with lower speed limits you get less problems with time lost due to the stops.

3: Railcar availability: Apparently, there are enough trains stored underground to force them to single-tracking. Ride more trains and you get less single-traking and shorter headways. See argument 1.

My points is that the reasons *sound* ok, but they are bullshit. Perhaps there are other things I am not aware off, but WMATA isn't telling.

Quite frankly these reasons piss me off in the same way the "we'll be moving momentarily" lie does.

by Jasper on Feb 12, 2010 11:27 am • linkreport

@Jasper, the headways are a result of technical limitations in the system the way it is right now. It's not like WMATA is storing trains in the tunnels because they're deciding to have 20-30 minute headways, it's because they have to store trains in the tunnels that 20-30 minute headways are necessary.

Single tracking from Courthouse to East Falls Church means that only one train can occupy the whole distance from CH to EFC. However long that train takes to travel that distance round trip will be the headway. They can't drive that fast outside, so the headways are longer.

They can't put the stored trains in service because the in-service tracks won't fit that many trains. During normal service, a lot of those trains would be in rail yards or servicing outer stations, which are not in service at this time. At five or six minute headways, there would be probably around 10-15 trains operating on tracks that are now covered with snow.

by Michael Perkins on Feb 12, 2010 11:44 am • linkreport

@Jasper:
Sorry if I was clear. Brevity often sacrifices clarity.

RE 1: You are correct, but it takes time. If all the trains stored between Ballston and Clarendon left at the same time for New Carrollton, it wouldn't do anyone any good. As the day goes on, those trains will be put into service. Many of them may already be in service.

I suspect that the empty train that appeared at Court House 9:05 which was reported by Tim in the "How was your commute" post was one of those trains being put into service. Let's say there are 10 trains stored there. If one is put into service every 10 minutes, it will still take 100 minutes to clear Track 1. During that period, single-tracking would be in effect.

RE 2: Actually, lower speeds lower the throughput. If it takes a train twice as long to clear a "block" because it's moving more slowly, the following train can't enter the next block as soon, and so on. It actually does lower the number of trains that can be put into the system. This has been the case for over 7 months now on the Red Line in particular because of the loss of automated operation (and therefore slightly slower speeds).

RE 3: See number 1 and Michael Perkins' statements thereto.

by Matt Johnson on Feb 12, 2010 11:51 am • linkreport

Ah, that should read "Sorry if I wasn't clear."

by Matt Johnson on Feb 12, 2010 11:52 am • linkreport

lower frequencies increasing station crowding, it's not easy for the signs to adjust to the conditions

What does station crowding have to do with the accuracy of the "next train" signs?

by Marian Berry on Feb 12, 2010 12:14 pm • linkreport

@Marian Berry:
Station crowding increases dwell times.

For instance, if a train is at Rhode Island Avenue, a sign at Fort Totten might think the train is coming in 4 minutes. But if Brookland is packed for some reason and the train takes 2 minutes to board and alight passengers, that 4 minutes suddenly becomes 6.

And while that 4 becomes 6, Fort Totten's platform gets more crowded, which increases the train's dwell time there, which makes it even later at Takoma, and so on.

With slower speeds, the PIDS system can adjust relatively quickly to average travel times. But station dwell times can vary greatly, especially with low service, and that is one of the factors creating problems today.

by Matt Johnson on Feb 12, 2010 12:17 pm • linkreport

@ Matt, Michael: Thanks for the clarifying answers.

I guess it comes down to metro not being very prepared to deal with this sort of thing, because they are barely capable of running the system under normal circumstances. That's what you get for structural underfunding.

by Jasper on Feb 13, 2010 1:45 pm • linkreport

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