Track work and service interruptions coming for Baltimore Metro Subway, Light Rail starting next month

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Photo by Elvert Barnes, via Flickr

Baltimore’s Metro Subway and Light Rail riders have a couple weeks to prepare for some service interruptions coming next month, as the state plots track maintenance or replacements for the transit systems.

The Maryland Transit Administration will start maintenance on Baltimore Metro Subway tracks starting Sept. 14, and running through Nov. 4, the agency announced today. A spokesman said no information was immediately available on which areas of the system are being worked on.

Unlike this past winter, when the system shut down completely as MTA raced to perform overdue repairs on the tracks, all stations will remain open for this project. (Another systemwide shutdown had been planned for this month, but it didn’t end up actually happening.) All work will be performed on weekends, during which single-tracking will be in effect. That could mean delays on Saturdays and Sundays, the MTA said.

“While interruptions to service are never welcome, we are employing every measure to make sure our riders have the information they need to get where they’re going,” MTA Administrator Kevin Quinn said in a statement.

The Light Rail system will see some station closures during a three-week spell, also beginning Sept. 14, as MTA replaces rails and undertakes track maintenance on the system’s northernmost section in Baltimore County. The Timonium Fairgrounds stop will become the temporary northern terminus until Oct. 4. The other stations past there—Hunt Valley, Pepper Road, McCormick Road, Gilroy Road and Warren Road—will be shut down.

MTA plans to ramp up service on the LocalLink #93 bus route during those weeks to accommodate Light Rail riders.

The Metro Subway and Light Rail repairs are part of more than $900 million in rail-infrastucture investments happening in the next several years, MTA said in a release.

Relatedly, the agency is working to address numerous issues with its operations laid out in an independent review by the American Public Transportation Association, which was released in summary form today. The review found that leading up to the February shutdown of the Metro system, MTA’s engineering and operations departments didn’t regularly discuss maintenance standards, employees weren’t using all necessary software to document inspections and work orders, and there was high turnover among managers, among other issues.

Responding to the report, Quinn assured The Sun his agency is “already taking steps in the right direction” to fix those problems.

This story has been updatd.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
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