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Dr. Gridlock: August 1, 2010 - August 7, 2010

Normal Amtrak service will resume Sat.

Amtrak says several major services along the east coast will resume normally on Saturday. The railroad south of Quantico, Va. reopened Friday afternoon after a CSX coal train derailed there a day earlier, blocking all tracks. Virginia Railway Express reports that five train cars fell and ripped up the tracks. Canceled trains on Thursday and Friday have affected thousands of riders.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 6, 2010; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express  
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Parts of New Hampshire Ave closed

A contractor working on New Hampshire Avenue as part of the Intercounty Connector project struck a gas line at about noon today, causing the emergency closure of a stretch of the road from Randolph Road in Wheaton north to Bonifant/Good Hope roads. Closures are expected to last through tonight's rush hour.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 6, 2010; 3:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting, Construction, Driving  | Tags:  Inter-county connector  
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The weekend and beyond

Whether they're heading for Fan Appreciation Day at Redskins Park or the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Rock Creek Park or taking a more ambitious trip to the Eastern Shore, travelers should find the weekend sunny and somewhat less humid in the D.C. area, before we return to high heat and humidity next week. Here's my weekly look at some of the transit and roadway conditions that may slow your trips.

By Robert Thomson  | August 6, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories, Driving, Events, Metro, Transit, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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Tysons crash cleared on Route 7

Good morning all, A second batch of thunderstorms this week have caused power outages through out the region. Alexandria and Prince George's County were hardest hit. As of this morning, 18,267 customers are in the dark in Northern Virginia, 17,925...

By Kafia Hosh  | August 6, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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VRE cancellation

All Fredericksburg line trains are canceled Friday because of a CSX train derailment near the Quantico Marine Corps base. The Metro option is open for Fredericksburg line riders at the Franconia/Springfield Metro station. Show your VRE ticket to the station...

By Kafia Hosh  | August 6, 2010; 5:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Bus, Commuter Rail, Virginia, Virginia Railway Express  
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Wilson Bridge openings overnight

The Wilson Bridge is scheduled to shut up to seven times Thursday night and Friday morning for routine tests of the drawbridges. The closings, which will last about 20 minutes each, will create traffic delays in both directions on the Capital Beltway. Long distance drivers should head around to the other side of the Beltway and cross the Potomac at the American Legion Bridge. An intermediate option is the 14th Street Bridge on I-395.

By Robert Thomson  | August 5, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Wilson Bridge  
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Delays on Yellow and Blue lines

Stations are jammed, some trains are being offloaded and progress is generally slow.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 5, 2010; 6:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro, Yellow Line  
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Southbound Amtrak service stopped

Amtrak service south of Washington, DC has been disrupted by the derailment of a CSX coal train at Quantico, Va. The railroad is shut down at Quantico with all tracks blocked, according to the railroad.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 5, 2010; 6:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuter Rail  
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GW Parkway reopened south of 395

A tree fell on a bus in Alexandria, prompting the closure of part of the George Washington Parkway just south of Reagan National Airport near Slaters Lane. There was no word on injuries yet, but there may be some, said US Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser. Stay with the breaking news blog on Postlocal.com for more details.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 5, 2010; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting  
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Leaking Nigerian bag briefly shut BWI

BWI Airport officials say the baggage claim area and the lower level roadway were closed off after a bag was found leaking. Airport spokesman Jonathan Dean says it happened Thursday about 12:30 p.m., when Delta flight 2224 from Atlanta arrived. A Delta employee noticed the bag was leaking an unknown liquid.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 5, 2010; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airlines, Airports  
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Delayed arrivals at DCA, IAD

Flights scheduled to land at Reagan National Airport and Dulles may be delayed 75 to 90 minutes due to severe thunderstorms sweeping the region.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 5, 2010; 3:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Airports  
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Navigate Metro with free iPhone app

The Washington Post Co. this week unveiled DC Rider, an iPhone app designed to make riding Metro as quick and painless as possible. A few taps on your screen will let you know when the next train is pulling up to your station, letting you know whether you need to run, or whether you've got a few minutes before you need to head to the station. And if you're off the beaten path, it can use your phone's GPS to tell you what the nearest station is, too.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 5, 2010; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro, Transit  
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Easing the Orange Crush

A previous posting reviewed Metro's plan to split the Blue Line at rush hour and ease congestion in the tunnel. But at the same time it decreases the number of Blue Line trains in the tunnel by three per peak hour, Metro plans to add service to the Orange Line by starting three more rush hour trains at West Falls Church. That fills up the tunnel again. So how's this going to work as Metrorail service is extended toward Dulles?

By Robert Thomson  | August 5, 2010; 1:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Blue Line, Commuting, Congestion, Metro, Orange Line  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Freight train derails beneath Baltimore

Baltimore officials say a freight train has derailed in a tunnel beneath the city, but none of the cars have overturned and no injuries have been reported. CSX spokesman Bob Sullivan says the train with three locomotives was headed from North Carolina to New York. He says it is affecting freight service, but not passenger rail service.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 5, 2010; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Maryland  
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Managing demand on Metrorail

Officials who worry about traffic congestion in the D.C. region now talk more about demand management than about building new roads. Metro officials are developing a similar theme when they talk about the future of our transit system. In each case, the planners' premise is that we're running out of room, and it's really expensive to build new stuff.

By Robert Thomson  | August 5, 2010; 11:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Blue Line, Commuting, Metro, Orange Line, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Serious crash on I-495 S.

Good morning all, Let us hope the morning commute is smoother than Wednesday's, when an over night thunderstorm caused slick roads and power outages through out the region. Here's what's going on so far: 8:30 AM --A serious accident is...

By Kafia Hosh  | August 5, 2010; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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VRE delays

For Manassas Line riders: Metro Option has been opened at the Franconia/Springfield Metro station. Show your VRE ticket to Metro personnel for entry. On the Manassas Line: Train 328 is still stopped and will couple with Train 330, adding an...

By Kafia Hosh  | August 5, 2010; 8:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Commuting, Transit, Virginia Railway Express  
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MARC delay

Train 841 on the Camden Line is running 20 minutes late....

By Kafia Hosh  | August 5, 2010; 6:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Commuting, MARC, Maryland  
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Tracking Metro's weekend work

This weekend's repair program on the Red Line moves into the middle of D.C., creating some extra complications for travelers, including those who might be on their way to the final games at the Legg Mason tennis tournament in Rock Creek Park. The transit authority is advising riders to add at least 40 minutes to their normal travel time and is offering some Metrobus alternatives.

By Robert Thomson  | August 4, 2010; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Events, Green Line, Metro, Red Line, Weekend Work  
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Biding time at Bethesda escalator

At Bethesda Metrorail station on Tuesday, the peak of the peak surcharge began uneventfully at 4:30 p.m. The peak of the peak that riders were more likely to notice began at 5:12 p.m. That's when the stopped escalator between the platform and mezzanine started to create its peak crowd of waiting riders.

By Robert Thomson  | August 4, 2010; 1:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, escalators  
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SmarTrip's brain bigger, but slower

If you noticed the Metro fare gates take a beat longer to open when you tap down a SmarTrip card, don't replace the card. Metro says it recently upgraded its fare collection technology to handle more complex transactions with the electronic cards. But that means its taking longer for the circular target on the fare gate to read the card's information.

By Robert Thomson  | August 4, 2010; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (60)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, SmarTrip  
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WMATA board will meet with NTSB

Metro said its board will meet with members of the National Transportation Safety Board next Monday afternoon to discuss last week's NTSB findings and recommendations.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 4, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, NTSB  
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Crash on Dulles Greenway

Good morning all, Thunderstorms have left us with slick roads and some power outages through out the region. Here's a look at how the morning commute is being affected: 8:45 AM: An accident is being reported southbound on 14th Street...

By Kafia Hosh  | August 4, 2010; 5:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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MARC cancellation

Train 870 on the Brunswick Line has been canceled Wednesday. All other Brunswick Line trains are operating....

By Kafia Hosh  | August 4, 2010; 5:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Commuting, MARC  
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Mt. Vernon Square tie-up cleared

Drivers downtown by now appear to be in the clear. But if you want to see for yourself, remember you can check The Post's traffic cams any time.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 3, 2010; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Commuting  
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2 Metro employees seriously hurt

D.C. Fire and EMS report that two men received electrical burns Tuesday while making repairs in an electrical room near the garage of the Anacostia Metro in the 1100 block of Howard Road Southeast.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 3, 2010; 2:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Green Line, Metro  | Tags:  Metro safety  
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Metro contests safety violations

Metro has contested citations by the Maryland occupational health agency that found Metro made serious safety violations in connection to an accident that caused the deaths of two Metrorail workers in January. An investigation by Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) found violations of existing Metro safety rules and recommended that Metro develop a reliable communications system with dedicated frequencies that is free of dead zones.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 3, 2010; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro, Red Line  
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Huge Labor Day project on Red Line

The transit authority has released more details about a track work project that will have a huge impact on Red Line service over the entire Labor Day weekend. Metro plans to do several projects along the tracks. To clear room for the work, five stations will be closed in what amounts to the biggest maintenance shutdown in Metro's history.

By Robert Thomson  | August 3, 2010; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Metro, Red Line, Weekend Work  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Man hit by train identified

A man who was found dead nine days ago on railroad tracks in Montgomery County was identified Monday after police released a sketch to the media, The Post's Marty Weil reports.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 3, 2010; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail  | Tags:  CSX, MARC  
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Accident on Route 29 in Md.

Good morning all, Metro riders will shell out a little more cash for service today thanks to another round of fare hikes. But if you choose to ditch the rails for your car (or always drive), here's what the morning...

By Kafia Hosh  | August 3, 2010; 6:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting, Congestion  
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Second fare hike stresses Metro

Way back in the early spring, the people responsible for Metro's revenue collection envisioned a scenario worth avoiding: The transit authority's fare increases would leave many riders confused about how much they were paying. Worse yet, fare collection would perform poorly just as the new fares kicked in. Same old Metro, the riders would say, charging us a premium while failing to deliver a top notch service. It was a vision that pretty much resembles the past 72 hours in the transit system.

By Robert Thomson  | August 3, 2010; 6:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Metro fare hikes today

Metro rail riders will pay a little more for service Tuesday when another round of fare hikes take effect. One increase charges paper Farecard users 25 cents more per trip than SmarTrip users. The other increase charges riders 20 cents...

By Kafia Hosh  | August 3, 2010; 5:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Commuting, Metro  
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Headaches on the horizon

Travelers may encounter some showers overnight, before the heat begins to build back up on Tuesday, the Capital Weather Gang says. Drivers on 16th Street NW will want to look out for the extra traffic around the tennis stadium north of Colorado Avenue. Here are more details.

By Robert Thomson  | August 2, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories, Events  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Headaches on the horizon  
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Delta to add DCA nonstops

Delta Air Lines will add nonstop flights out of Reagan National Airport to seven cities this fall as part of the company's push into East Coast markets.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 2, 2010; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Airlines, Getaways  | Tags:  DCA, Delta Airlines  
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Metro posting new fare signs

Metro is changing the signs in the stations to try to end rider confusion about the second round of fare increases, now scheduled to take effect on Tuesday.

By Robert Thomson  | August 2, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Join me for traffic, transit forum

Tim Ralston of Kensington, writing in my Dr. Gridlock column on Sunday, said this about the Metro board: "I don't know what the answer is, but increasingly, I am less impressed by the Metro board and wonder if it is the most effective body to take the system in the fresh, new direction that is desperately needed."

By Robert Thomson  | August 2, 2010; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Commuting  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock  
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One long Bethesda escalator out

One of the long escalators at Bethesda is back up and running, after both were briefly out this morning. At Ballston, both escalators from the street are out; same with the G and 12th streets entrance at Metro Center.

By Luke Rosiak  | August 2, 2010; 9:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Metro, Red Line  | Tags:  Escalators  
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I-495 in Md.: lane blocked

Good morning all, Here's what's going on this morning as you head back to work: 8:30 AM: An accident is blocking the right lane southbound on the Capital Beltway at the American Legion bridge. 8:25 AM Update: The accident has...

By Kafia Hosh  | August 2, 2010; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Capital Beltway, Commuting, Congestion  
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ART disruption

7:40 AM: Arlington Transit riders using the route 61 bus should expect delays due to an incident on Queen Street. As a result, a van with a "Forsythe" logo will be picking up riders at designated stops. 6:50 AM: MARC...

By Kafia Hosh  | August 2, 2010; 7:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuter Rail, District, MARC, Maryland, Metro, Transit  
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The week ahead for traffic, transit

While temperatures and traffic are likely to be down during this first week of August, there are plenty of travel issues for those not lucky enough to be on vacation. Metro commuters will have their first experience with the new wave of fare increases, including the peak of the peak surcharge and the 25 cent surcharge on paper Farecards. Drivers in the District should watch out for the annual tennis tournament on upper 16th Street NW. Here are some travel tips for the week.

By Robert Thomson  | August 2, 2010; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, The week ahead  
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