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Expect Delays: Fire near Bethesda Metro Station

A small insulator fire on a track near the Bethesda Metro Station Tuesday is forcing Red Line trains to share a single track between Friendship Heights and Grosvenor-Strathmore during the height of the evening rush hour, prompting ricocheting and residual delays for frustrated riders.

Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said the fire, which began at 6:08 p.m., was put out with a portable extinguisher.

Montgomery County fire crews responded, and trains will share a single track for most of what remains of rush hour while crews examine and clean the side of the track where trains head toward Shady Grove.

By James Hohmann  |  August 25, 2009; 6:59 PM ET
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Next: Delays Expected on the Blue Line


It was real crazy comment took about 2 hrs to reach rockville from union station today. Hope metro does much better handling of the situtations like this. I got down at dupoint circle as my train was taken out of service.I went upto the station master and asked if there is a shuttle service to take us to next station got a big "NO NO ". Asked the station master if I can get some express bus.Answer was I dont know..which I think the metro must train its employees to give suggestions or time lines for it.

Posted by: kallims | August 26, 2009 1:22 AM | Report abuse

So, according to this, the fire started at 6:08 p.m.

But at 6:02 p.m. (I remember because the woman behind me asked me for the time) my red line train heading into the District from Silver Spring was offloaded at New York Ave and continued on, empty. There were 3 WMATA employees poking something in our car (the 2nd car of the train) and you could hear "Friendship Heights" and "Bethesda" coming over their walkie-talkies. The train conductor said, "We're being offloaded due to a train with mechanical difficulties."

They finally announced the track fire after we'd been sitting at Gallery Place for 3-4 minutes. (It was just around 6:25 when several dozen other folks and I got fed up and walked to Metro Center from Gallery Place. At least the weather was nice!)

Posted by: EtoilePB | August 26, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I was transferring buses at Bethesda. Arriving at 6:07, the bus area was surrounded by 4 fire trucks and ambulances by 6:13, when my connecting bus departed the station. On our way out, we passed by 2 more fire trucks heading to the scene.

I thought it was a serious incident, but apparently not. Just a small track fire. At least WMATA was fast in communicating a potential problem and the emergency crews were fast responding.

Posted by: cprferry | August 26, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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