Update, 3:20 p.m.: Monday morning’s delays on the Blue and Yellow lines stemmed from a leaking piece of equipment near Reagan National Airport.
The leak came from a “prime mover,” which is used to shuttle heavy equipment through the Metro system. This particular prime mover was being moved off of the rail lines when the fluid began leaking shortly before 5 a.m.
This “created a slippery condition” that stretched on for about half a mile, said Caroline Lukas, a Metro spokeswoman. As a result, Blue and Yellow Line trains had to single-track while the the fluid was cleaned up.
Refunds will be handled “on a case-by-case basis,” Lukas said. Riders can contact Metro’s customer service to request a refund.
Read this TBD report from last year for more on these machines (and a glimpse of a prime mover trundling through the Gallery Place-Chinatown station).
— Mark Berman
Update, 10:25 a.m.: Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines are once again using both their inbound and outbound tracks, but delays from a shutdown at the start of the day will likely continue through late morning, officials said.
Hydraulic fluid leaked onto a track near Washington Reagan National Airport shortly before 5 a.m., officials said. While crews worked to clean up the spill, trains in both directions shared a single track from Pentagon City to Braddock Road.
The transit agency reported delays of at least 30 minutes, while some frustrated commuters said they’d been waiting for an hour or more.
At 10:25 a.m., the track where the spill occurred was put back into use. Officials said it would take some time for the backlogs to clear and service times to return to normal.
Major headaches on Blue/Yellow lines. Seeing long waits or heavy crowding? Tweet the stations and what you’re seeing (and pics). #WMATA
— drgridlock (@drgridlock) March 11, 2013
@drgridlock train hasn’t left Braddock Station in 35 minutes. Giving up and driving…
— Christina Saull (@christinasaull) March 11, 2013
@drgridlock pentagon city where they’ve told us to move three times to the other platform where our train should be…
— Jon Barnhart (@barnhartja) March 11, 2013
@drgridlock been on train for 1 hour. Just got to Braddock from Springfield
— Tim Mikulski (@tim_mik) March 11, 2013
— zaghie (@zaghie) March 11, 2013
@drgridlock 20 min commute =45 this morn. Braddock to lenfant all platforms & trains crowded both directions
— Karen ETR (@karenetr) March 11, 2013