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Friday, January 9, 2009

Metro Question

Can Metro run 24-7 if it is single tracked during the hours which it is otherwise closed? I'm sure many people would love 24/7 Metro, but I have been told the primary reason we cannot do this is because Metro lacks the ancillary tracks of the New York City System. Track maintenance would be impossible if the lines never closed... but if they single tracked during the overnight alternating tracks each night, would it still be possible to maintain the tracks while running trains, say every hour or so?


Michael said...

No, according to the WMATA planner I spoke to on the topic, passage of trains on the opposite side of most places in the system while work is being conducted on one side requires the trains to slow to some very slow speed like 15mph and a lot of coordinating communication that is disruptive to the performance of maintenance. This is to make sure that maintenance workers are not struck by trains that are passing by on the opposite track.

Plus, there are places where maintenance can't be conducted even when single tracking, such as switches and crossovers.

aw said...

You can't single track the whole system unless you're willing to have only one train on a track line at a time. i.e, a red train leaves shady grove, goes to Glenmont, and then turns around and does the opposite. It would be *extremely* slow at least, not to mention any other issues I haven't thought of.