Metro will implement an additional service change — affecting Stadium-Armory Station only — as another step to reduce “stop and go” rush-hour rides and congestion on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines following last week’s transformer fire.
Metro says that during weekday rush hours, Stadium-Armory will be served by Blue Line trains only, while all Orange and Silver line trains will pass through the station without stopping. Customers traveling to or from Stadium-Armory will be able to use Blue Line trains at all times.
Orange and Silver trains will bypass Stadium-Armory weekdays from system opening until 10:00 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Only Blue Line trains will stop at the station during these times. All trains (Orange, Silver and Blue) will service the station at all other times, including midday hours, evenings and weekends.
The changes come in response to issues last week. On Monday, a transformer fire at a power sub-station near Stadium-Armory disrupted service and caused delays for hours. On Friday, Metro began running Orange and Silver line trains every eight minutes during rush hours, rather than every six minutes, to reduce the number of trains in service at any one time.
“While the impact of this change is limited to one station, the benefit will be realized by tens of thousands of riders. ”
Last week’s fire fire knocked offline a nine-megawatt power substation that converts commercial power to D/C electricity that is used to run trains via the third rail. Metro is currently “feeding” power to the area of Stadium-Armory from smaller substations farther away and that are already at their output capacity. To avoid overloading the system or disrupting service, Metro says it has been forced to reduce train speeds and limit the number of trains passing through the Stadium-Armory area.
Fixes are not going to come quickly though: Metro’s engineering and power departments are working to demolish and rebuild the damaged substation and replace equipment on an expedited basis — a process that is estimated to take more than six months, says Metro.
To accommodate customers who travel between Stadium-Armory and Orange Line stations east of Stadium-Armory (e.g. Minnesota Avenue- New Carrollton), Metro will offer free shuttle buses between Stadium-Armory and Minnesota Avenue during the hours Stadium-Armory is bypassed.