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Power Failures, Speed Restrictions Slam Metro Riders With More Delays

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter

Commuters in Washington, D.C., faced another slow rush hour commute Wednesday after a malfunction along the red line knocked out power in the Bethesda station, while speed restrictions continued to stall trains throughout the system.

Metro trains were ordered to bypass the Bethesda station starting at roughly 6 a.m. because of a reported power outage. Metro restored power to the station by 6:50 a.m. but delays along the red line persisted. Buses were rerouted to shuttle passengers to others stations during the outage, reports Fox 5.

Despite the reported quick fix of the early morning malfunction, Metro riders reported another station outage at around 9 a.m. and delays throughout the rush hour commute.

Scheduled track maintenance and ongoing speed restrictions around the McPherson Square station added to commuter delays. Trains were reported sitting at platforms for extended periods of times Wednesday to deal with the traffic jam of trains in the tunnels. (RELATED: Another DC Metro Smoke Incident Causes 45-Minute Delays At Rush Hour)

Metro riders also dealt with massive delays Tuesday due to two arcing insulators on the red line, which have been causing regular smoke and fire incidents in Metro tunnels. Commuters faced 45-minute delays and platform crowding, with red line trains running once every 18 minutes. Trains from Silver Springs were stopping at the Farragut North station and all outbound trains bypassed the Bethesda station.

“I think Metro in some ways is unfortunately an embarrassment,” Congressman Dan Lipinksi, a red line rider, said during a hearing Tuesday with the Federal Transit Authority.

Officials will begin “SafeTrack” June 4, the Metro’s repair plan that aims at completing three years of maintenance in just 10-months.

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