Watch: TriMet’s MAX Red Line to Close for Four Months

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor, Railway Age
Map Courtesy of TriMet
Map Courtesy of TriMet

TriMet on May 24 announced that between June 18 and Oct. 21, MAX Red Line stations between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport will be closed, allowing crews to access TriMet right-of-way and perform major construction for its “A Better Red” MAX Extension and Reliability Improvements Project.

Shuttle buses will replace Red Line trains and serve closed stations. See video above.

The agency said it is rolling past the 65% mark for project construction, and the four-month shutdown will allow it to build about one-half mile of second track and to demolish and reconstruct the Portland International Airport platform.

Observant riders, TriMet says, may notice that the Portland International Airport MAX Station looks different from most of the agency’s other rail stations. It’s triangular and tapered at the eastern end, rather than being rectangular and uniform. That has worked for the current configuration, where the track splits at the station, sending trains to either side of the platform. But, TriMet says, it wants to reduce delays and increase reliability, so the agency is adding a second track and making the tracks parallel.

TriMet looked to the MAX Orange Line, featuring its newest stations, for how to design an updated PDX platform. Beyond giving riders more space, TriMet says, a rectangular platform will also allow for the installation of an improved shelter, providing coverage to access both MAX cars and offering people more cover.

The second track will be built along the section of MAX Red Line between Air Cargo Road and PDX. This critical part of the Better Red Project, TriMet says, will allow trains to move around each other without having to wait for one to pass. Additionally, TriMet crews will use the time to build a new multi-use path and rail crossing at Air Cargo Road, along with nearly a dozen smaller maintenance and improvements projects along the disrupted section of trackway.

A Better Red is TriMet’s largest rail project since the opening of its MAX Orange Line in 2015. It extends MAX Red Line west to serve 10 more stations and improves schedule reliability for the entire MAX system.  

More information on TriMet’s A Better Red project is available here.

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