Muni Metro Rail Grinding Services - Phase 1

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Project Introduction

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) constantly maintains the rail system to enhance the safety and reliability of the Muni Metro service. Starting tentatively in December 2020 and continuing for about six months, we will perform rail grinding in the subway from Eureka Valley Portal, west of Castro Station, to Embarcadero Station, and Duboce Portal. The work will take place only at night after regular Metro service hours. All Metro lines will operate without interruption.

In preparation of the rail grinding, the preliminary work, including pre-construction survey and inspection, will start in October 2020. Post-construction inspection and closeout work will continue for a few months after the grinding operation is done in June 2021. 

The current public health emergency may delay or alter the work schedule.

Project Timeline
July 2020
Award Contract
July 2020 - January 2022
Project Status
  1. Implementation / Construction
Light Rail Vehicle Icon
Enhance the safety and reliability of Muni Metro Service


Rail in Subway

Muni rail network requires maintenance.

The rail network within the Muni Metro tunnel is aging and some places have shown uneven wear. The rail grinding will reduce both light rail vehicle (LRV) wheel wear and the likelihood of weld failures. The planned grinding services will greatly improve the health and performance of the rail and extend its useful life. It will also help improve transit performance and customer experience while riding Muni trains. 

This work consists of grinding approximately seven miles of tracks, including all mainline inbound and outbound tracks, plus both Duboce Portal alignments, leading out of the tunnel to the surface, and ending at the top of the portal ramp, approximately 900 feet from the turnout switches at the mainline of the Metro subway at Duboce Junction. There are also three double crossovers that will be ground at Embarcadero, Van Ness and Castro stations, and two turnouts located by the Duboce Portal.  

What to Expect During Grinding

  • Rail grinding will take place after the regular Metro service hours, approximately between 2 a.m. and 4. a.m. Monday through Saturday; and between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday.
  • All Metro Lines will continue to operate as usual. No bus shuttle service is necessary for this operation.
  • Measures will be taken to minimize the noise disruptions, especially in the portal areas.
  • We are currently identifying staging areas that are accessible to the subway portals and convenient for the neighbors. We will inform and discuss the options with the community.


Contact Information
Gloria Rivera-Lawson, Project Manager
Jay Lu, Public Relations Officer