After each service day delivering passengers to work, school, and other important destinations, our trains get some ”R and R” for regular maintenance and cleaning. This happens at the end of the service day when the last scheduled train trip ends near its nightly destination at the operations and maintenance facility in central Phoenix. . If you are riding on this final trip of the night, then you should be aware that your exit may be different than expected.
Working the overnight shift, I was able to travel to 44th St/Washington station to observe the eastbound trains make their final stop for the night. At the end of each service day, security officers and a field supervisor go to the 44th Street/Washington and Priest Dr/Washington stations to notify riders that they’ve reached the end of the line for the night. When the train arrives, officers board the vehicle making sure everyone exits before the train heads in for routine maintenance. Then, they tell passengers no more trains will be servicing that station and the platform is closed. If you happen to be catching a few Zzzzz’s on the train, you won’t for much longer. A security officer will ask you to exit so that trains can journey off the system to get prepped for another day.
People asked to exit the train and others arriving at the platform from the airport were understandably frustrated. No one wants their travel suddenly interrupted, however, maintenance is a requirement after a day of service. Overnight at the yard, staff give the trains a full check-up making sure the brakes, propulsion systems, air conditioning and other systems are properly maintained. Then, the trains take a shower through the rail “car wash” and the cleaning crew uses a dedicated platform in the yard to wipe down and tidy up the interiors of the fleet.
Here are a few tips on how to make sure you get to your final destination when riding late at night!
Check valleymetro.org for a complete train schedule. Sunday-Thursday our trains start their final full length trip at 11 p.m. and will reach the other end of the tracks by around 12:30 a.m. Trains stay in operation later on Friday and Saturday nights starting their final full length trips at 2:00 a.m.
An easy way to determine the train’s destination is to look at the front of the train. If the LED scrolling sign above the operator reads “19th Ave/Dunlap” or “Gilbert Rd/Main St” then you’ll have no trouble reaching your destination or traveling to the end of the line. However, if it reads “44th Street/Washington” or “Priest Dr/Washington” then your trip, and everyone else’s, will end at that location.
A quick call or text to our NextRide system will tell you when your next train is arriving and which station is its final destination.
We want to get you where you want to go, with no surprise exits. As you know, a little preparation goes a long way. With these tips you’ll know how to reach your intended destination, especially late at night.