Work allows update of Alexandria rail yard signal system
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Beginning Friday, Nov. 27, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will close the Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn St. Stations on weekends through Sunday, March 14, 2021. The closures will help workers modernize the Alexandria rail yard signal system on the Blue Line.
The updates to the system will improve safety, reliability, and on-time performance.
“It is imperative that we continue our efforts to maintain safety-critical systems and a ‘State of Good Repair,’” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld. “It makes sense to consolidate this work now so that we impact the fewest customers, while modernizing our system so that it is safe and reliable for decades to come.”
In addition to the weekend changes, a two-week shutdown period will occur over the holidays when ridership is usually low. The two stations have seen roughly an 80 percent drop in ridership during the pandemic.
During those times, local and express shuttle bus service will replace train service at Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn St. Blue Line trains will operate between Huntington and Largo Town Center.
The work schedule includes a break during Wreaths Across America (December 19), the week of the presidential inauguration (January 16-24), and Presidents Day weekend (February 13-15).
According to a press release, WMATA indicates that the project cannot be completed safely when trains are in service.