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Metro underground again Thurs.

Airports | Amtrak | Buses | Capital Weather Gang | D.C. snow emergency | Plowing plans | Rails | Snow removal | Live traffic

7:06 p.m. Update: Metro will run only underground rail service on Thursday, while bus and MetroAccess service will remain suspended due to the record snowfall in the Washington area, Metro announced late Wednesday.

Underground rail service will open at 5 a.m., and trains will run at 24- to 30-minute intervals until midnight.

"We will continually assess the situation" on Thursday, as workers make efforts to clear the 40 above-ground stations and tracks so service can resume there, said Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.

Strong winds and heavy snow forced Metro to pull back crews of employees laboring to dig out from the storm, Farbstein said. "It's a losing fight," she said. Since last Friday's snowstorm, more than 1,000 employees have been on the job in 12-hour shifts to try to excavate the rail cars, tracks and buses and keep the system running, Metro said in a statement.

In order to expedite the resumption of service, Metro has stored more than 500 rail cars -- nearly half its fleet -- in underground tunnels to protect them from snow and ice. As a result, it is running many trains on single tracks, Farbstein said.

Original post: Metro will continue to limit its rail service to underground portions of the system Thursday, according to Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein. Metrobus and MetroAccess service will continue to be suspended.

The rail portion of the system will open at 5 a.m. and trains will service stations in intervals of 24 to 30 minutes.

Farbstein said service might change if conditions improve during the day.

By Michael Bolden  |  February 10, 2010; 6:26 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , transit  | Tags: Metro, metro safety  
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Next: Transit roundup for Thursday

Comments

Well, as soon as the wind stops I'm going underground. :)

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | February 10, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Any guess how long to allow to to go by taxi from 395/King St area to Union Station downtown tomorrow morning mid-morning? And how late Amtrak might be running tomorrow on the trains it is running?

Posted by: grbarr1 | February 10, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Why won't Metro's trains work in the snow? Chicago's do. I think New York's do, too.

Posted by: steve_k2 | February 10, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

@ steve

Metro doesn't have near the snow removal equipment as the agencies in Chicago and New York.

Posted by: Mainland | February 10, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Someone please buy some snow chains or studded tires for Metro Buses. You can fund it by taking a few bucks off the stimulus bill's high-speed rail projects. Also, buy an air compressor and deicer spray rig mounted on a diesel railway engine to make the rounds all night blowing the snow off the third-rail of the above ground MetroRail runs.

Posted by: MBA2005 | February 10, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

steve_k2: Chicago and New York's trains are not exempt from the laws of physics. If the third rail is covered with snow or ice, the train will stall. For example, train service in Chicago ceased during the blizzard of 1979 (which, by the way, had less snowfall than the Snowmageddon.)

Trains are able to run during snowstorms in cities such as Chicago and Cleveland because those cities spend large amounts of money on deicing equipment and plow equipment. Imagine the outrage that would result in DC if the WMATA spent millions of dollars on equipment that will be used less than one day during the average year.

Incidentally, rail fares on those systems are higher than on Metro -- for example, all trips on the Cleveland RTA are $2.25, even though the distances covered are short -- covering the equivalent distance on Metro would be $1.35 during off-peak or $2.00 during peak hours. Chicago MTA fares are the same, with no off-peak discount.

Posted by: stuckman | February 10, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Good decision.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | February 10, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

as a native new yorker, i think metro has done an amazing job in its efforts to service the area. they will never please everyone; but given their performance these past few days i'd say kudos!

Posted by: Zyon4339 | February 10, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone still think it was a good idea to make Metro's Tysons/Dulles extension above-ground?

Posted by: KSVA | February 11, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

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