An early morning track fire on the red line delayed commuters aboard the D.C. Metro Friday, which continues to experience mechanical hiccups.
The track fire was caused by an arcing insulator near the Bethesda station and forced trains to single-track along the red line between the Medical Center and Friendship Heights. The issue forced Metro officials to launch unscheduled repairs to fix the defective track insulator. Officials found another faulty insulator while in the tunnel during the morning repairs, reports Fox 5.
Metro officials reported at 5:37 a.m. that the fire was extinguished. No fire or smoke affected delayed commuters at the Bethesda station. In addition to the fire, a switch malfunction near the Stadium-Armory station also caused delays this morning for riders on the orange, blue and silver lines.(RELATED: Confusion And Delays Hit DC Metro Riders, Bus Drivers Don’t Know Where To Go)
Metro is undergoing repairs this week. Metro repairs currently include work on the blue line, which is closed going towards Reagan National Airport. Metro closed the blue and yellow line tracks between Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road stations Tuesday for Surge 3 SafeTrack repairs, which will end July 11.
Riders said employees seemed uninformed about alternate routes during the maintenance work and described general confusion among workers. Some riders reported giving directions to their Metrobus drivers, while other drivers got lost, increasing commute times.
The current surge of track work is impacting roughly 50,000 riders and is reducing service on the Metro lines south of the Pentagon by roughly 50 percent. Work on the blue and yellow lines will affect roughly 86,000 riders.
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