Retracing History: Platform Canopies Introduced to Aboveground Stations | Moving Millions: Rockville Canopy Shelters 1 Million Riders | Future Focused: New Customer Improvements | Metro’s Capital Improvement Program
Shady Grove and Rockville stations reopened on January 16, 2022. See Rockville Canopy Replacement Project photos here.
Retracing History: Platform Canopies Introduced to Aboveground Stations
When architecture firm Harry Weese & Associates (HWA) penned the final blueprint for aerial flat canopies in the 1970s, the firm unknowingly crafted an iconic architectural staple found in many Metro stations today. As the transit authority expanded its rail system to aboveground stations in the 1970s, concrete platform canopies with skylights became commonplace for many stations with both island and center platforms.
For decades, Metrorail customers have reaped the benefits of this architectural wonder. From safely protecting customers against harsh weather to keeping customers secure with lighting, public service announcement (PSA) and surveillance equipment, platform canopies are more than a gathering place to catch the next train—they are a symbol of customer and station safety.
Rockville canopy—a flat canopy with a centered triangular skylight sheltering the central part of the platform, with the north and south ends of the platform opening to the sky—pictured in 2021.
Moving Millions: Rockville Canopy Shelters 1 Million Riders
Built circa 1979, the Rockville canopy is one of a handful of aerial flat canopies across the Metro system today. As the Metro system has grown, so has the number of customers using Rockville. In 2019, approximately one million customers experienced the platform canopy while waiting for the next departing train at Rockville.
Constructed of concrete beam structures, and spanning nearly 300 feet long, the platform canopy has weathered the storm by shielding customers from sun, rain and snow over its lifespan. Additionally, the canopy protects the platform’s escalators, extending the life of the escalators and minimizing the need for repairs. This longevity has resulted in progressive corrosion, skylight leaks, concrete spalling and deterioration of roof membranes that have led to roof leaks and structural decline. The Rockville canopy has reached its end of life and was completely replaced in fall 2021. The new canopy will continue to deliver a safe and reliable experience for Metro customers.
Rockville canopy pictured in 2021.
Future Focused: New Customer Improvements
To support Metro’s goals of safety and reliability, customers will benefit from new, more efficient LED lights, an upgraded speaker system for station announcements, new digital screens for passenger information and new CCTV cameras for improved security.
Metro’s Capital Improvement Program
Metro is investing in system safety, reliability and the region’s economy through its capital program. Under the Track and Structures investment category, Metro’s capital improvement program is funding repairs and replacements of platform canopies across the region. These efforts ensure passenger structures are in a state of good repair while providing a safe and reliable experience for Metro customers.