Metro to Shut Down Red Line Service at Three Stations in December for Critical Repairs and Upgrades

On Monday, December 18, Metro will begin a two-week construction project on the Red Line to perform critical safety repairs to the tunnel and track infrastructure, upgrade signal and communications systems, and install new platform edge lights. 

During construction, Red Line service will be unavailable at Farragut North, Metro Center, and Gallery Place stations with free shuttle buses replacing trains from December 18 through Saturday, December 30. While the Red Line is closed, service will continue to be available on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines on the lower level at Metro Center and Green and Yellow line service on the lower level at Gallery Place.

In addition, Judiciary Square Station will be closed from Friday, December 22, through Sunday, December 24. To complete this work as safely and efficiently as possible, both tracks must be taken out of service. Crews will address structural issues in the tunnels which are nearly 50 years old and date back to the original stations. The work will involve building supports to repair a concrete beam overhead. Crews will need to remove the concrete and pour approximately 1,000 square feet of concrete for the new beam, reinforced with additional rebar.

Customers will continue to have normal or near-normal service outside the work zones, with Red Line service every eight minutes from Shady Grove to Dupont Circle and Union Station to Glenmont.

“We are proud of the important system improvements our team completed over the summer and are prepared to continue these upgrades on the Red Line during the holiday season,” said Metro Chief of Infrastructure Andy Off. “Thanks to our customers for their understanding of these service outages this year. Completing these critical repairs will improve the reliability of our system for years to come.”

The shutdown, first announced nearly nine months ago, comes at a time when ridership historically is 40 percent lower than a normal week and will impact the least customers. Without the two-week shutdown, the same work would have taken at least three months of weekend closures to complete.

2023 Red Line
During the closures, construction crews will complete safety-critical infrastructure repairs and planned improvements, including:
  • Replacing the severely deteriorated concrete ceiling of a box fan shaft above both tracks between Farragut North and Dupont Circle.
  • Replacing a switch machine near Judiciary Sq that has reached the end of its usable life. Work on this machine has been deferred in the past. Switch machines allow trains to switch from one track to another and reroute around incidents that may lead to customer delays.
  • Installing nearly 40,000 linear feet of fiber-optic cables. The upgrade to fiber-optic cables along the Red Line will provide a foundation for advanced communications-based train control (CTBC) technology to improve service reliability and efficiency.
  • Replacing grout pads and leak repairs between Dupont Circle and Gallery Place.
  • Installing new platform edge lighting at all stations between Farragut North and Judiciary Sq.
  • Replacing rail fasteners and repairing rail joints.
  • Adding extra third rail insulation for added safety during winter conditions.
Free shuttle buses will replace trains during the Red Line shutdown. Customers are advised to plan extra time for their travel. During the construction, the affected stations will have signage to remind customers of the closures, and Metro staff will be onsite to provide travel assistance.
Metro is working with the District on additional measures that may help alleviate traffic for buses and minimize delays. Additional service information, including travel alternatives, will be provided in October.

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