The Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) has approved a $177m overhaul plan for the Red Line, the oldest and busiest line of the city’s rail service.

The renovation work involves improving the automatic train control and tunnel ventilation systems, replacing the tunnel lighting system and repairing the station walls.

In addition, Dupont Circle South and Foggy Bottom Metro stations will get new escalators and platforms at Shady Grove and Rockville stations will also be renovated. Tracks between Medical Center and Grosvenor-Strathmore stations will also be repaired.

The work will begin with repairs on tracks between the Dupont Circle and Silver Spring stations in early 2010.

In light of the June 22 2009 Red Line collision that claimed nine lives, part of the fund may focus on problem areas identified by those investigating the case.