Posted tagged ‘Metro’

Metro Planning to Install Raised Vent Shafts on New Hampshire Avenue

January 5, 2017
Metro plans to raise the

Metro plans to raise the vent shafts for the Georgia Avenue station currently protected by sandbags.

In mid-December I reached out to Metro and asked them to remove the sandbags that are located around the vent shaft grates by the CVS and former Sweet Mango on New Hampshire Avenue. The bags were originally placed around these grates around September 30, 2016, to prevent anticipated flooding from the remnant of Hurricane Irene, an event that turned out to be over rated. Over the months, some of the bags had begun to break and spill sand, creating a mess.

While WMATA originally agreed to remove the bags, they quickly followed up that there is a longer-term plan to raise the vent shafts at these two locations to prevent water intrusion and that the bags would be replaced with newer bags instead. I don’t have a date for the anticipated work, but will follow up when I do.

New Georgia Avenue Metro East Escalators Open and Working

October 11, 2016

Its been almost 7 months since the Georgia Avenue Metro Station’s east escalators closed for replacement. I’m happy to report that they are finally open to the public again and appear to be operating fine. Feel free to take a virtual ride below:

Photo of new escalators at the Georgia Avenue Metro east entrance (below)

Georgia Avenue escalators

Metrorail Closed Wednesday for Emergency Inspections

March 15, 2016

Metro closed

The entire Metrorail system will be closed tomorrow. Below is the press release that WMATA issued at 4:35 pm today:

All Metrorail service will be suspended Wednesday, March 16, for emergency inspections

Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, with support from the Authority’s Board of Directors, today announced the full closure of the Metrorail system on Wednesday, March 16, for emergency inspections of the system’s third-rail power cables following an early morning tunnel fire yesterday.

The inspections of approximately 600 “jumper cables” will occur along all tunnel segments on the Metrorail system. At the conclusion of the inspection process, there may be a need for additional rail service outages. Any further service impacts will be announced to the public as soon as they are known.

“While the risk to the public is very low, I cannot rule out a potential life safety issue here, and that is why we must take this action immediately,” Wiedefeld said. “When I say safety is our highest priority, I mean it. That sometimes means making tough, unpopular decisions, and this is one of those times. I fully recognize the hardship this will cause.”

The Metrorail system will close at its normal time tonight (midnight) and remain closed until 5 a.m. Thursday. All six Metrorail lines and all 91 stations will be closed on Wednesday.

The unprecedented action follows an early morning electrical fire involving a cable in the tunnel outside McPherson Square Station yesterday. There were no injuries; however, service was disrupted along the Blue, Orange and Silver lines throughout the day.

“The investigation into yesterday’s cable fire at McPherson Square is ongoing,” Wiedefeld said.  “As a preliminary matter, the conditions appear disturbingly similar to those in the L’Enfant incident of a year ago, and our focus is squarely on mitigating any risk of a fire elsewhere on the system.”

Metrobus and MetroAccess service will continue to operate on a regular schedule. Parking will be free in all Metro-owned lots and garages for customers who wish to take bus or carpool.

Alternate service options throughout the region will be extremely limited, and severe crowding is expected on buses. Consider the following alternates:

The public is advised to make alternate travel arrangements as early as possible.

Metro Escalator Replacement Projects to Continue at Georgia Ave. and Columbia Heights Stations

February 11, 2016

IMG_0164[1](Escalators at the west entrance of the Georgia Avenue Station)

At last night’s meeting of ANC 1A, representatives of WMATA were there to discuss updates to their  escalator replacement and rehabilitation projects — particularly with the Columbia Heights and Georgia Avenue stations. Currently, both stations are in the midst of escalator replacements projects at their west entrances. These projects are expected to be completed by April, after which work on the east entrances at both stations will begin.

The escalator replacement at the east entrance of the Columbia Heights station is currently scheduled to begin around April 18th and is expected to take 35 weeks to complete. The escalator replacement at the east entrance of the Georgia Avenue station is scheduled to begin around March 21st and is expected to take 45 weeks to complete. The result of both project will be completely new escalators at both locations.

When asked why the the Georgia Avenue station replacement was estimated to take 10 weeks longer than the Columbia Heights station, the WMATA representative stated that the elevators at Georgia Avenue were larger and that work can only commence when the stations are closed — which is about 4 hours of work time. Noting that both stations were only about 16-17 years old, I asked how long the average life span of an escalator typically is — and was informed that it is 40 years. The reason for the failures of the escalators at these stations is that the manufacturer doesn’t support their maintenance and Metro has had difficulty getting parts for them to keep them in good repair. Because of this, the new escalators that will be installed will be manufactured by Kone which is located in Illinois.

The escalator projects will be among 21 new escalators that are scheduled to be replaced in 2016. As of February 2016, WMATA had already installed 29 new escalators.

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Silver Line Starting to Show Up in Metro Stations & Rail Cars

May 23, 2014

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been noticing that new Metro maps and station signage has been starting to show up with the new Silver Line on it. Below are two examples.

Silver line map(Detail from a Metro system map found in a Green Line train)

IMG_6376(New signage from the Clarendon Station)

Metro to Begin Gradual Replacement of Carpet with Resilient Flooring

November 21, 2013
A 6000-series Metrorail car with resilient flooring

A 6000-series Metrorail car with resilient flooring

Among the news Metro announced earlier today (11/21/13) was that it will begin a process of gradually replacing the carpet in its metrorail cars with resilient flooring. I think this is a wise move that will keep the cars cleaner easier. I’ve often noticed how dirty and disgusting railcar carpets can get and am surprised that this change didn’t happen years ago.

Following is the full Metro announcement on this improvement:

Metro is moving forward with the replacement of carpet in its existing fleet of railcars with new slip-resistant resilient flooring.

The move is in response to customer feedback during the design of Metro’s new 7000-series cars, which will soon begin rolling off an assembly line in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Riders told Metro that they strongly preferred flooring to carpet for cleanliness reasons.

Resilient flooring does not absorb dirt and spills as carpet does, and will be much easier for Metro maintenance personnel to keep clean.  In addition, flooring is more durable and has a longer lifespan before needing replacement.

As an added benefit, the flooring reflects some interior and exterior light, creating a brighter, more open feel inside the car.

Already, Metro has installed the new flooring on more than a dozen cars.  Over the next two years, Metro expects to have flooring installed on all 5000- and 6000-series cars.

The work is being done in-house using existing Metro resources.

News release issued at 10:57 am, November 21, 2013.

Working with Metro for a Better Station Area Map

January 27, 2012

Station Area Map with numbers indicating where additional features could be located

One issue I’ve been working on for a very long time is getting the illuminated Station Area Maps at the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Station updated to include information I consider to be clear omissions. I began this process in October 2010 and thought I’d made some progress when WMATA committed to include Park View on future maps with updated maps scheduled for installation by March 2011. Well, clearly that did not happen. So, I’ve dug in again and have reopened the conversation with Metro.

While my initial observation was that Park View was inappropriately omitted from the map as Petworth, Columbia Heights, and Mt. Pleasant were all included, upon inspecting the map more closely I discovered that there were several opportunities to make the map better. Below are six significant improvements I noticed.

  1. Include Park View to show the location of the neighborhood;
  2. Show the location of the MPD 4D Substation at 750 Park Rd., NW;
  3. Include the Bruce-Monroe Park at Irving and Georgia Ave.;
  4. Show the location of the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School (770 Kenyon Street);
  5. Show the location of the Lincoln’s Cottage National Historic Site; and
  6. Include Armed Forces Retirement Home on the map to identify its location.

In each of these cases, the type of information suggested is in keeping with the categories of information WMATA currently includes on their maps. I’ll be sure to post follow ups as my conversations with Metro advance.

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