St. Louis Blue Line MetroLink service to resume Aug. 22

Aug. 19, 2022
A late July storm severely damaged parts of the MetroLink system with damage estimated to cost $40 million.

St. Louis Metro Transit will restore full service to its Blue Line MetroLink route on Monday, Aug. 22, three weeks after record rainfall and flooding caused significant damage to parts of its system.

Preliminary damage estimates were between $18 and $20 million, but those estimates have now doubled to $40 million following a deeper assessment that was conducted over the past three weeks.

The most significant damage occurred on a two-mile section between MetroLink’s Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station and the Delmar Loop Station, which includes the total loss of one MetroLink train and the DeBaliviere MetroLink signal house, as well as substantial damage to additional communications and fiber optic systems and equipment.

Crews were able to return service to the Red Line within 72 hours, but the damage sustained on the Blue Line, especially to its signal, communications and fiber optics systems, required a more intensive repair effort.

“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 Bi-State Development President and CEO Taulby Roach.

The signal and switching issues left Blue Line MetroLink trains unable to connect at stations with Red Line trains. However, starting Aug. 22, 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 four 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.”

Roach said the transit organization is seeking state and federal FEMA funding to help offset the losses and for further flood mitigation. Repairs to the MetroLink system will be an ongoing process. Roach said Metro Transit will rebuild the MetroLink system back with resiliency to protect against future extreme weather events.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.