We have some good news for Red Line riders! Hard to believe, I know.
Starting December 17th, Red Line Metrorail trains will stop turning back at Grosvenor and head all the way to Shady Grove. Metro says rush hour service will come every four minutes to White Flint, Twinbrook, Rockville, and Shady Grove. It won’t affect many of the riders shuttling inside the DC core, but commuters on the NW corner of the Red Line have been unable to take whatever rush hour train came first since 1984. They have had to wait for the every-other arriving train.
Bethesda Magazine has the backstory on Grosvenor Turnbacks
“Metro implemented the turnbacks in 1984 to help deal with a shortage of railcars, with the board voting in 2015 to end the turnbacks by this summer. Since then, Metro has added 583 of its new 7000-series cars, with another 183 scheduled to be added next year, according to The Washington Post. County officials, including County Executive Ike Leggett, wrote to Metro earlier this year requesting that the transit agency end the turnbacks because they were resulting in fewer trains for riders between Shady Grove and White Flint, and decreased ridership overall on that portion of the line. Shady Grove is the second-busiest station in Montgomery County with 11,517 average weekday boardings, according to the press release. Silver Spring is the county’s busiest station, with 12,004.”
Unfortunately for Riders North of Silver Spring, the Turnback Woes Continue:
“Trains on the other end of the Red Line will continue to turn around at Silver Spring, with no immediate plans to increase the number of northbound trains to the Forest Glen, Wheaton and Glenmont stations, Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly said.”
That may soon end as well, but let’s not hold breath:
“Metro board member Michael Goldman, who represents Montgomery County’s interests, said he made the request to end the turnbacks on behalf of Leggett, Rockville and Gaithersburg mayors Bridget Donnell Newton and Jud Ashman, respectively, and other members of the County Council.
Goldman said he pushed for improvements to the Red Line in 2015 after Virginia increased its share of Metro funding for upgrades on the Orange and Blue Lines.
“I said, if we’re going to meet the needs in Virginia, this is a good time to end the turnbacks at Grosvenor,” he said in an interview.”
Nice to see jurisdictional sniping hasn’t ended in Metro’s era of dedicated funding.