Facilities Operations Update

MetroLink Blue Line Service returns August 22

Sent on behalf of Metro Transit

Metro Transit opened the Blue Line MetroLink train service and returned service to all Blue Line stations on the 46-mile light rail system on Monday, August 22. Three weeks ago, record rainfall and flooding heavily damaged the MetroLink system in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County,Missouri.

“It is incredible that despite major damage to our MetroLink system during this historic weather event, our teams and contractors were able to get trains up and running on the entire Red Line in 72 hours. We commend them for that and are pleased to announce that because of their continued hard work, we are resuming train service on the entire Blue Line. Trains will run all the way through now. That means our Blue Line riders will once again be
able to transfer by train between the Red and Blue Lines without having to take shuttle buses,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development President and CEO. Bi-State Development operates the Metro Transit public transportation system in the City of St. Louis and in St. Louis County in Missouri, and in St. Clair County in Illinois.

While Metro Transit teams have worked around the clock to keep the St. Louis region moving on public transit following the unprecedented flooding, restoring Blue Line service has been especially challenging given that vital MetroLink signal, communications and fiber optics systems were damaged or destroyed by floodwater.

Because of the signal and switching issues, operating partial service on the Blue Line has meant Blue Line trains have been unable to connect to MetroLink stations with Red Line trains. Blue Line customers were being transported on bus shuttles to access Red Line trains and those bus shuttles will no longer be needed effective Monday, August 22. That is when the MetroLink team will implement a modified single track operation that will allow trains to serve all stations on the light rail system, Blue Line as well as Red Line. “It is truly remarkable that I can say less than 4 weeks after we experienced this historic rainfall and devastating flash flooding event, that both Blue Line and Red Line trains will be serving the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station and all of the MetroLink stations on the light rail system,” said Roach. “That is nothing short of amazing and it shows you how determined and talented our transit team is about restoring service for our MetroLink customers in the St. Louis region.”

Preliminary damage estimates were between $18 and 20 million. Now that deeper assessments have been conducted over the last three weeks, the adjusted total is estimated at $40 million. The majority of the damage is concentrated on a 2-mile section of MetroLink between the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station and the Delmar Loop Station. Roach said the transit organization is seeking state and federal FEMA funding to help offset the losses and for further flood mitigation.