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Metrorail likely underground Wed.

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

The transit authority says the new snow is likely to keep the trains in the tunnels Wednesday. There will be no Metrobus or MetroAccess service.

Metrorail system will open at 5 a.m., the normal time, with service limited to underground stations.

The transit authority says it will monitor weather conditions and restore service if possible. Meanwhile, efforts to clear aboveground tracks will continue so service can be restored Thursday.

Metro officials are optimistic that some aboveground service will be restored Thursday and that some bus and paratransit service will resume.

It's not just the snowfall that Metro is worried about. The high winds with this storm are likely to cause heavy snowdrifts on tracks as well as roadways.

The Metrorail system can operate well in snowfall of less than eight inches, but once it tops eight inches, it covers the electrified third rail, which provides the power to move the trains. Additionally, heavy snowfall often damages electronic components in the undercarriage of rail cars.

On Wednesday, trains will be serving underground stations at intervals of 24 to 30 minutes from opening until midnight:

The Red Line will be split into two segments. It will operate between the Union and Medical Center stations and between the Glenmont and Forest Glen stations.

The Blue and Orange Lines will both operate between the Ballston and Stadium-Armory stations.

The Green Line will run between the Fort Totten and Congress Heights stations.

The Yellow Line will run only between the Pentagon and Crystal City stations.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 9, 2010; 6:34 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Is the only reason the Blue Line is "running" because they hope to reopen the above-ground stations and put them back on their normal path? Otherwise why not just label all the trains as Orange Lines since it's the same path?

Posted by: kmcandrew | February 9, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many need to commute between Forest Glen and Glenmont?

Posted by: BaracksTeleprompter | February 9, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Dr. G: Thank you so much for all your work during these difficult days. As your blog is chronological, I think it is important to have a transportation current/status link on your blog--for example, the status of the RED LINE right now. (We're already talking about Wednesday, but people need to get home tonigiht! Yes, metro announced regular service ealier, and I suspect that is the most up-do-date statement RIGHT NOW. See what I mean? (signed, unemployed librarian...)

How can one email Dr. Gridlock/transportation editor directly?

Thanks. Abbie Blankman, Silver Spring

Posted by: Abela | February 9, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Why is Metro running trains so far apart (24 to 30 minutes) at underground stations? I get why Metro can't service above ground stations but why aren't they running more trains in the below ground stations? I'd like to try and get into work tmmw but when you have to change lines, you could be looking at an hour in just wait time to make what otherwise would be a 35 minute commute.

Posted by: bltman | February 9, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't this on the Metro website? Why don't station managers & drivers have any information?

Maybe when the intertubes are invented next century . . . Oh, wait , , ,

Posted by: sturunner | February 9, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

May as well switch Presidents Day to this Friday so folks can get smartly back to work on Monday.

Posted by: tslats | February 9, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@sturunner: It is indeed on Metro's website. It's on the right-hand side of the page under "News."

Posted by: lynnec | February 9, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Now Metro has given in to the weather after only a few hours and WELL less than the 8" that impacts the third rail.

Oh, and they announced at 8:06 p.m. that Metrobus would be suspended at 8:00 p.m., i.e., by the time you heard the news, it was too late.

They really just don't care anymore, do they? I understand the weather difficulties, but they seemingly make NO attempt to actually meet riders' needs, at a time that you want to discourage as many people from driving as possible.

Mr. Catoe, don't let the snowplow hit you in the behind on your way out.

Posted by: nashpaul | February 9, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't know. As I look at the radar map on, i don't see much more snow moving in our direction. I suspect the actual snowfall may be on the low end of the estimate range.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | February 9, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey now...if there was a foot of snow on the tracks before, and they managed to plow it down to 6 inches, that means it would only take another 2 inches to get above the 8 inch threshold. if the trains can't run, the trains can't run. If they determine that the trains can't run at 8:00, that means they can't run for another hour after that. Its not like they haven't been saying all day though that they could stop above ground service at any time when conditions become bad.

The laws of physics might not take rider's needs into account, but they are the fairest of all the laws out there.

Posted by: thetan | February 9, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I tell you, metro needs to man up. We have to get people to work. Trains I can see as being a problem, these are straight up limitations of the system. As far as busses go, let's chain some tires and get going. 10 years ago they used tire chains to keep service going. They should be doing that now. They really work.

Posted by: CapitalTruck1 | February 9, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I tell you, metro needs to man up. We have to get people to work. Trains I can see as being a problem, these are straight up limitations of the system. As far as busses go, let's chain some tires and get going. 10 years ago they used tire chains to keep service going. They should be doing that now. They really work.

Posted by: CapitalTruck1

FINALLY, some sanity on this site! Way to go, CapTruck1. I second your emotion. This has become such a lame system. It's like the Metro employees can't wait for the eight-inch mark so they can call it a day. There is no reason to suspend above ground service at 11 p.m. There was barely an inch or two of new snow. The Post gives Metro such a pass on this shoddy service. The Metro reminds me of my toy train that I run under my Christmas tree. Except my toy train is safer. And, at times, moves just as many passengers--none.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | February 9, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

To send an e-mail directly to a member of The Post's transportation team, e-mail or


Michael Bolden
Development &
Transportation Editor

Posted by: boldenm | February 9, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Considering how many accidents and fatalities there have been in the last year in perfectly good weather, does Metro really need to take any chances? Maybe being very cautious is a good idea, all things considered.

Posted by: elizestrada | February 9, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I lived in NYC for seven years and Boston for four. I don't remember the subways ever being out of commission.

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 10, 2010 3:09 AM | Report abuse

When Metro was D.C. Transit, the buses ran.

That had to do with D.C. Transit owning a fleet of dump trucks and ploughing the bus routes.

Metro ditched the dump trucks as too costly -- which trucks D.C. Transit rented out, with drivers, for a net profit.

Great, forward-looking strategic planning.

Posted by: rmlwj1 | February 10, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

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