Metro goes underground early
Metrorail stopped its above-ground service at 8:45 p.m Tuesday, deciding to limit rail service to the underground portion of the system. The news was tweeted about 8:40 p.m., followed by the distribution of a press release.
Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said, "Train operators have been reporting that they were having difficulty operating the trains." She said the decision was made due to "the sudden snowfall which accumulated at a much faster rate than anticipated." The news was being broadcast throughout the system, she said.
The transit agency did not want to risk that a train might lose electricity on the tracks and strand customers, Farbstein said, noting that there were few people in the system Tuesday night.
"We've been saying all day that we would be monitoring conditions," she said.
Metro has been concerned about whether snow and ice would affect the electrified third rail, which powers trains. Service to above-ground stations had been suspended during the weekend snowfall. Widespread service had just resumed Tuesday morning.
Farbstein said Metro would do its "best to accommodate" riders in the system when the service stops. Trains would be stopping at whatever their prearranged destinations are for the end fo the night she said. In some cases, Metro Transit Police may provide rides home to customers, she said.
The Metro system will open on Wednesday at 5 a.m. with service limited to underground stations.
February 9, 2010; 8:57 PM ET
Categories: Advisories , Commuting , Weather , transit | Tags: Metro, metro safety, metrorail
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