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Color Wednesday Yellow

We're dropping back to a Code Yellow forecast for Wednesday. That means the air quality improves from unhealthy to moderate. No free buses. It will be a tad cooler on Wednesday, the forecasters tell us, but travelers shouldn't drop their guard.

Metro says it expects to operate normally on Wednesday, but Tuesday afternoon and evening have been a bit problematic because of concerns about rail safety and power usage. All trains were operating at reduced speeds above ground. The Blue, Orange and Red lines were off schedule.

All Red Line trains were operating every four minutes between Silver Spring and Grosvenor-Strathmore. All Orange Line trains were operating every eight minutes from the ends of the rail line, and all Blue Line trains were operating every nine minutes from the ends of the rail line, according to a statement from Metro.

The Green Line had 12-minute delays heading toward Greenbelt.

The suburban train services had the usual slows because of the heat and concerns about the possibility of kinks developing in rails.

Virginia Railway Express put out some advice in its "Train Talk" that is generally applicable to transit users:

High heat can pose concerns for passengers when waiting for trains. Most of us plan to be outside of our air-conditioned homes, offices and cars just long enough to get on our air-conditioned commuter train. But as we all know, the sustained hot weather can also take a toll on train operations, resulting in slow orders, late trains, and sometimes, malfunctioning air conditioning on board.
Be prepared for the heat by drinking plenty of fluids water is best, and avoid alcoholic beverages, caffeinated drinks and sodas. Thirst is not an accurate indicator of how much fluid your body needs. Drink seven to eight ounces of water every 15 minutes during periods of high heat exposure.
During these extremely hot days, bring bottled water along with you for your train trip, in case you must wait longer than expected in the heat for your train to arrive.

-- Robert Thomson

By Robert Thomson  |  July 18, 2006; 4:56 PM ET
Categories:  Commuting  
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