Delays cleared after snarling Orange Line service for hours

Updated at 1:48 p.m.:

Metro reports that the Orange Line trains stopped single-tracking shortly after 1 p.m. Residual delays lingered, but the transit agency said normal service had resumed on the Orange Line just before 1:25 p.m.

Updated at 12:18 p.m.

Metro said riders should expect delays of up to 20 minutes on the Orange Line as trains are now sharing a track between the Ballston and Clarendon stops. Crews are working to inspect the track in that area after earlier reports of problems.

Crews had inspected the Orange Line between Clarendon and Foggy Bottom and did not immediately find anything. Service is back to normal on the Blue Line.

Dan Stessel, a Metro spokesman, said it not known how long the latest round of single-tracking will last on the Orange Line.

Stessel said the earlier problem on the Red Line where there was a power outage was “not obviously weather related” but due to an arcing insulator outside of the Glenmont station. He said the transit system had seen a “much higher number of equipment problems due to cold weather” Wednesday.

Updated at 10:28 a.m.

Metro riders faced disruptions and delays Wednesday morning on on all five of its rail lines and to its bus service because of the snow and ice.

At 10:30 a.m., Metro said it was going to start single-tracking on the Orange Line between Clarendon and Foggy Bottom stations so crews could begin inspecting track in the area area. Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said several trains reported “mechanical problems” after passing through that area. He said the problem is not believed to be a cracked rail, which can sometimes happen in very cold temperatures.

It was unclear how long the single-tracking would last. Metro said riders could experience delays of 30 to 40 minutes.

Metro did resume normal bus service on most of its routes by 10 a.m., after initially limiting service to snow emergency routes because of bad road conditions. All but six routes were back to normal. Those lines included the 3T, the D12, the D14, P12 and the E6.

Earlier problems on the rail lines included a power outage outside Glenmont on the busy Red Line, door problems on several trains on different lines and a disabled train on the Green Line. But most of the problems were resolved by 10 a.m.

Stessel called Wednesday morning’s commute “choppy” but said there had been no “major disruptions,” prior to the single-tracking. He said the agency ran eight car trains later in the morning than it normally would because the federal government opened two hours later.

The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang said temperatures are expected to remain frigid throughout the day Wednesday and officials warn that could affect transportation routes on buses, trains and roadways. For more traffic related news follow us on Twitter @drgridlock and click here for stories.

Updated at 9:57 a.m.

Trains are no longer sharing a track on the Green Line, but delays continue in both directions.

An Orange Line train also had to off load at Metro Center and that created delays on the Blue and Orange lines.

Dan Stessel, a Metro spokesman, said the problems have been related to door problems where blowing snow got “ingested into the door tracks.”

Other trains have had brake issues, which is the result of trains coming from the tunnel into near zero degree temperatures, it affects the brakes on a train, he said.

“It’s been a choppy morning but nothing I’d describe as a major disruption.”

He said Metro buses should go back to normal service within the next half hour or throughout the day as weather conditions improve. The buses had been operating on just snow emergency routes because of the snow.

Metro also ran more eight car trains later in the morning because the federal government opened two hours later.

Updated at 9:53 a.m.

Metro said it has resumed normal service on the Red Line at Rhode Island Avenue stop.

Updated at 9:44 a.m.

Riders on the Green Line of Metro should expect delays because of a disabled train at the Columbia Heights station. Trains are sharing a track between U Street and Georgia Avenue.

Updated at 9:37 a.m.

Riders on Metro’s Red Line headed in the Glenmont direction should expect delays because of an earlier train malfunction at Rhode Island Avenue stop.

Updated at 9:32 a.m.

Metro said riders should expect delays to Glenmont because of a disabled train at Rhode Island Avenue station.

Updated at 8:37 a.m.

Metro said riders on its Blue and Yellow lines will continue to see delays in both directions because of earlier “weather-related equipment problems.”

The transit agency said riders on the Blue and Yellow lines will also face delays because because of an earlier train malfunction at Arlington Cemetery.

Updated at 7:56 a.m

Metro said at 7:43 a.m. that its normal service is back on the Red Line after earlier troubles from a power outage at Glenmont. But new delays have popped up on the Blue and Orange lines.

Riders on the Blue and Orange lines should expect delays to Largo and New Carrollton because of a disabled train at the Farragut West station.

Updated at 7:15 a.m.

Metro’s Red, Yellow and Green lines have had problems Wednesday morning.

By 7:16 a.m., Metro said normal service had resumed at L’Enfant Plaza after an earlier train malfunction at that station.

Original post at 6:33 a.m.

Metro’s busy Red Line is delayed in both directions early Wednesday, due to a power problem outside the Glenmont station, the transit agency said.

Rail service is running on a normal schedule Wednesday, despite extreme cold and Tuesday’s snowstorm. But Metro’s bus service is only operating on snow emergency routes. Riders should check Metro’s maps to see how their bus route may change, the agency warned.

In a separate incident, a train is having to come out of service at Dupont Circle because of an equipment problem. That train issue is causing delays toward Glenmont, according to Metro.

For more transportation related stories follow us on Twitter @drgridlock and our coverage here.

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