News

Falls Church Metro stations to reopen next week, as rail replacement enters new phase

Commuters wait at the closed Vienna Metro station for an express shuttle to Ballston (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Some good news is on the horizon for local Metrorail riders: the West and East Falls Church stations are set to reopen on Monday (June 26) after a 23-day closure.

The bad news? The Vienna and Dunn Loring stations will remain closed through July 16.

Orange and Silver line service at the four stations ceased on June 3 so Metro crews could replace a 40-year-old steel rail. The transit agency is also using the closures to install fiber optic cables and clear vegetation along or near the train tracks.

After laying down nearly 1,800 tons of rail and removing “more than 42,000 linear feet of trees, bushes, grasses, and invasive vines,” the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority says it will advance to the project’s second phase next week.

“Our team has made great progress on this work so far. As of last week, our team has replaced 15.5 miles of track, installed nearly 36 miles of fiber-optic cable, replaced two diamond interlockings, and installed 13 new switch machines,” Metro Chief of Infrastructure Andy Off said. “They are working to keep the system safe and reliable, and we thank our customers and visitors to the area for their understanding and patience.”

The extended shutdown has been a source of frustration for many commuters in Northern Virginia, despite Metro’s efforts to minimize disruptions by providing free shuttles.

After getting reports of long lines and wait times for the shuttles, particularly at the Vienna and Ballston stations, WMATA said on June 7 that it would add more buses, coordinate with police to ensure free movement through traffic and reevaluate routes through the more congested areas of Rosslyn.

However, the transit agency noted that wait times could still reach 20 minutes during peak rush hours “based on the volume of customers at these stations.”

Some waiting should still be expected at the Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church stations going forward, Metro says, advising riders “to allow extra time for their travel,” especially during rush hour.

From June 26 through July 16, free shuttles will be provided with stops at those three stations, arriving every 10 to 20 minutes. There will also be an Orange Line Express with service between Vienna and West Falls Church every eight to 15 minutes on weekdays.

Standard buses from Metro and other transit services, including Fairfax Connector, will be available as well:

Bus Options

Vienna

  • Metrobus 1A to Ballston-MU
  • Metrobus 2B to Dunn Loring
  • Fairfax Connector 698 – Service between Vienna and Pentagon (rush-hour only)

Dunn Loring

  • Metrobus 1B to Ballston-MU
  • Metrobus 2A to East Falls Church & Ballston-MU
  • Metrobus 2B to Vienna
  • Fairfax Connector 401/402 to Tysons

Other Options

Fairfax Connector (Weekday rush-hour service only; eastbound in a.m., westbound in p.m.)

  • 697 Service between Stringfellow Road Park & Ride and L’Enfant Plaza
  • 699 Service between Fairfax County Government Center, Fairfax Corner, US Department of State, and Foggy Bottom

OmniRide

  • 601 Service between Manassas, Farragut Square, and McPherson Square
  • 602 Service between Manassas and Pentagon
  • 611 Service between Gainesville, Farragut Square, and McPherson Square
  • 612 Service between Gainesville, Pentagon, Smithsonian, and Navy Yard
  • 60 Service between Manassas and Tysons
  • 61 Service between Gainesville and Tysons