2 Green Line sta­tions to close for track work

The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER - — Faiz Sid­diqui

A blitz of round-the-clock track work will close two Green Line sta­tions for 16 days, as Metro em­barks on the first round of ex­tended re­pairs in its post-Safe-Track pre­ven­tive main­te­nance pro­gram.

Branch Av­enue and Suit­land will be closed through Aug. 20 while crews work to re­place a ma­jor in­ter­lock­ing out­side the Branch Av­enue sta­tion.

The work zone will ex­tend to Nay­lor Road on con­sec­u­tive week­ends from Aug. 12 to 13 and Aug. 19 to 20, Metro said.

Metro says buses will re­place trains be­tween Branch Av­enue and Nay­lor Road for the week­days of the work surge. On week­ends, the bus bridges will ex­tend from the Branch Av­enue to South­ern Av­enue sta­tions.

All three of Metro’s up­com­ing work blitzes are fo­cused on in­ter­lock­ings, the com­plex mech­a­nism of switches and sig­nals that work in con­cert to di­rect trains to the proper track.

“Re­build­ing the in­ter­lock­ing is a com­plex process, in­volv­ing the re­place­ment of four switches that are near the end of their use­ful life and re­quires si­mul­ta­ne­ous work on both tracks,” Metro said in a news re­lease of the Branch Av­enue cross­over.

The work zone stretches 4.5 miles and will en­com­pass sig­nal up­grades, power cable re­newals and the re­place­ment of about 1,500 crossties — the wooden beams that space the tracks at the proper dis­tance on above­ground por­tions of track.

The cross­over it­self is built on con­crete and stretches about 450 feet long and 50 feet wide, ac­cord­ing to a June in­ter­view with Andy Off, Metro’s as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager of rail ser­vices.

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