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Heat restrictions for MARC, VRE

100 degrees on Metrorail | Cooling centers | Riding the rails
Photos: Coping with the heat | Video: Memories of the snow

The extreme heat Wednesday will cause delays again for passengers who ride the Fredricksburg Line on Virginia Railway Express and MARC passengers on the Brunswick Line.

VRE officials said CSX has issued heat orders for all Fredericksburg Line trains. Riders can expect delays of 10 to 15 minutes, with the heaviest being near Fredericksburg. Norfolk Southern, which owns the rail used by the Manassas Line trains, had not issued any heat warnings as of noon Wednesday. The Maryland Transit Administration said CSX had also issued heat orders for the Brunswick Line.

Trains must slow during extreme heat because the steel rails will expand, VRE officials said. Although this expansion is taken into consideration during the construction period, there are occasions when the expansion can cause a "sun kink," or a shift in the track that causes a curve in an otherwise straight pair of rails.

Rail officials will monitor the tracks throughout the day and if weather conditions change, restrictions could be lifted, VRE officials said.

-- Jennifer Buske

By Michael Bolden  | July 7, 2010; 12:13 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Commuter Rail, MARC, Northern Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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Can we start calling this what it really is?

a) The failure of CSX to properly maintain its tracks, and

b) The failure of MARC and VRE (read: Maryland and Virginia) to mandate and enforce such maintenance.

Posted by: ceebee2 | July 7, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

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