Track Failures Snarl DC Metro Service Amid New Repairs


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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Officials with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority are warning afternoon commuters to expect delays Tuesday after a track switch malfunction along a portion of the Orange Line forced trains to single-track.

Metro officials reported the track failure at 3:45 p.m. and began single-tracking trains on the Orange Line between the Stadium-Armory and Cheverly stations. The single-tracking lasted for 40 minutes while crews worked to fix the issue. The track switch failure occurred on a stretch of track repaired during Metro’s SafeTrack Surge 2 work, which ended July 3, reports The Washington Post.

Officials said riders should expect extended delays throughout the rush hour commute Tuesday evening along the Orange, Blue and Silver Lines due to the incident. A signal failure also snagged service Tuesday morning along the Orange, Blue and Silver Lines near the Stadium Armory station on track that workers repaired during Surge 2 maintenance. (RELATED: Next Round Of DC Metro Repairs Cuts Key Access To Reagan National Airport)

Officials have yet to release details on the incidents and it remains unclear if the malfunctions are related to recent SafeTrack maintenance.

The current surge of track work is estimated to impact roughly 50,000 riders and will reduce service on metro lines south of the Pentagon by roughly 50 percent. Metro closed the Blue and Yellow Line tracks between Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road stations Tuesday, which will end July 11. The Blue and Yellow Lines will then shutdown July 12 for a week between Reagan National Airport and Pentagon City, affecting roughly 86,000 riders.

In addition to the full shutdown of rail service between Reagan National Airport and Pentagon City, the Crystal City station will close beginning July 12. Commuters travelling from Virginia are expected to bear the brunt of delays, but the maintenance will impact travel times throughout the metro system.

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