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Heat will delay VRE, MARC trains

2:40 p.m. Update: MARC riders traveling between Point of Rocks and Frederick Junction will also be affected by heat restrictions issued by CSX, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. Officials said the restrictions would affect trains 891, 893 and 895.

Virginia Railway Express passengers can expect some delays tonight as the extreme heat will force trains to slow down during the evening commute.

VRE officials said CSX, which owns the rail used by the Fredericksburg Line trains, has issued heat orders for Tuesday. People can expect delays anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes this evening, depending on other train movement at the time, VRE spokesman Mark Roeber said. Norfolk Southern, which owns the rail used by the Manassas Line trains, had not issued any heat restrictions as of two 2 p.m., Roeber said.

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  | August 10, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Virginia Railway Express  
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