• Major track operation closing Nat'l Airport for Labor Day

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by SchuminWeb
 
It seems that Metro's closing the C Route from Pentagon to Braddock Road for a major track project. I'm not questioning the work, because it appears to be necessary, as this is one of the older sections of the system. The choice of weekend is what gets me, since Labor Day is a big travel weekend, and as such, heavier use at the airport, and hustling airport passengers onto WMATA shuttle buses just seems unwise. Surprised they didn't plan this for Columbus Day weekend, which I would think would be a lighter travel weekend.

Sometimes I think WMATA likes to operate in a bubble, and forget about the real world.
  by realtype
 
This is solid proof why Catoe needs to be fired. It's as if Metro purposely wanted to screw with it's riders. THere's about a million things wrong with this idea, not to mention they're announcing it 3 days beforehand. Suppose I had bought a ticket from JFK to DCA just a week ago, and was expecting to take Metro to my destination??? Since I've been taking Metro, this is one of the dumbest things I've seen them do...
  by Sand Box John
 
"realtype"
This is solid proof why Catoe needs to be fired. It's as if Metro
purposely wanted to screw with it's riders. THere's about a million things wrong with this idea, not to mention they're announcing it 3 days beforehand. Suppose I had bought a ticket from JFK to DCA just a week ago, and was expecting to take Metro to my destination??? Since I've been taking Metro, this is one of the dumbest things I've seen them do...

I am going to have to defend Mr. Catoe and the decision makers at WMATA on this one. WMATA announced that this disruption was going to happen back on 08 05 2009. That is more then a month ago.

Metrorail ridership Labor day weekend 2008:

Saturday 08 30 2008 335,945
Sunday 08 31 2008 261,404
Monday 09 01 2008 227,323

Had WMATA not done a total shutdown over the Labor day weekend, passengers would have had to suffer through delays from single tracking over 3 consecutive weekends. By doing this as a one shot deal WMATA can use those resources on other needed maintenance on those other weekends.
  by SchuminWeb
 
Indeed, I don't see any problem with the use of a three-day weekend to do major track maintenance. My problem is doing it there, then. According to this WP article, Metro is tentatively planning a partial shutdown of L'Enfant Plaza for Columbus Day. One would think that these two should have been switched, since L'Enfant Plaza doesn't have an airport right on it, and can be avoided by a large chunk of the system without shuttle buses.
  by NellieBly
 
I was responsible for the planning and scheduling of New York City's track rehab program on the Transit Authority during the 1980s, and I can assure you I never would have been permitted to schedule a major track outage on a line serving JFK Airport or Penn Station over a busy holiday weekend. We did do weekend closures (typically 55 hours, from late Friday night to early Monday morning) for such things as replacement of "diamond" crossovers (where we needed both tracks out of service), but we limited ourselves to non-holiday weekends;

We also had a major advantage WMATA doesn't -- many of the lines in Manhattan are three or four tracks, meaning service could be diverted from express to local or vice versa to get track time for rehab. Since on most of these lines we had too many riders to bus, this was fortunate for us. WMATA, of course, has only two tracks and in some locations crossovers are far enough apart to produce extremely long headways when single tracking.

In general, the people who designed and built most of the modern rapid transit systems in the US seem never to have given any thought to track maintenance requirements.
  by Robert Paniagua
 
That was good NellieBly. That must have been a good job for the reconstruction of trackage in NEW York Subways

We did do weekend closures (typically 55 hours, from late Friday night to early Monday morning) for such things as replacement of "diamond" crossovers (where we needed both tracks out of service), but we limited ourselves to non-holiday weekends;

Case in point, for instance, that's being done right now in New York City as I'm visiting the City for the long weekend from Boston. The 1/2/3 lines are being run local since track work is taking place on the express tracks, so all 1/2/3 Manhattan service is local from 34-96th Street. But in Metro and in Boston, passengers would have to be bused since WMATA or MBTA have no other tracks along their ROW
  by WMATAGMOAGH
 
Labor Day is actually one of the lowest ridership holiday weekends for Metro, and most of the holiday travel is by car, not by air like on Thanksgiving. See here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 03463.html. Also, can anyone offer a good 3 day weekend to do this work that isn't Labor Day? On Memorial Day, you have Rolling Thunder at the Pentagon and other events at Arlington Cemetery. Many people have work on Columbus Day and MLK Day. They don't do major trackwork on Thanksgiving (and even if they did, people need to get to DCA). Presidents Day is in the winter which makes scheduling outdoor trackwork more difficult since if it were to snow, the work likely wouldn't be able to occur. They don't do trackwork on July 4th for obvious reasons. Am I missing other holidays? Looks like Labor Day was the best choice here. It amazes me how people bitch about how poorly maintained Metro supposedly is, and then when Metro schedules trackwork to do maintenance, they bitch about that. You can't have it both ways!