Cold weather can impact Metro service

January 23, 2013

Severe cold has come to the Washington region, and it should stick around for several days, according to the Capital Weather Gang.

CRACKEDRAILS 01
A cracked rail found along Metro rail at the Rosslyn station on Jan. 30, 2012. (WMATA)

Drops in temperature like this can create problems for transit systems like Metro. Rails contract in cold and expand in heat, and that can eventually lead to cracks or breaks in the rails, said Dan Stessel, a spokesman for the agency.

Metro has crews ready to respond in case such cracks occur. On Wednesday morning, Green Line trains had to share a track for nearly two hours as crews replaced a broken rail near the Naylor Road station. The break probably was a result of the cold weather, Stessel said.

“We’re vigilant and we’re keeping an eye on it, but there’s not much more to do,” he said. “You never know when a crack is necessarily going to happen.”

Follow the Capital Weather Gang for the latest.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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