Friday morning train commutes should be easier

After a troubled Thursday commute for the thousands of riders who take Metro, MARC and Amtrak, Friday morning should be easier.

Amtrak said in a tweet that it had fully restored service overnight between Baltimore and Washington. It said “no impacts” are expected for Friday morning. On Thursday, downed lines on the track between Baltimore and Washington caused hours of delay for riders on Amtrak and MARC lines. At one point, about 12 trains with 1,500 Amtrak passengers were affected by the delays between D.C. and Philadelphia.

On the MARC Penn line, the service apologized in a tweet late Thursday to its customers for the big delays.

It also warned riders that all electricity-powered locomotives had been pulled as a precaution for Friday morning and replaced with diesel-powered locomotives. That could cause some trains to experience 5- to 15-minute delays.

Metro had a minor problem early Friday morning on its Orange and Blue lines. Around 5:30 a.m. trains were sharing a track between the Foggy Bottom and McPherson Square stops because of a signal problem outside the Foggy Bottom station. But the situation was resolved in roughly five minutes and trains are no longer single-tracking.

With the Nationals’ season home opener at 1:05 p.m., Metro could see hiccups Friday afternoon. Trains will be crowded and the game is likely to end around rush hour. Metro reminds riders who are going to the ball game to pre-load money onto their SmarTrip cards before they leave the station so they won’t have to wait in line after the game for vending machines.

Transit officials also reminded riders to avoid downtown transfer stations on the system. For those coming from the eastern side of the Red Line, connect to the Green Line at Fort Totten rather than Gallery Place. And Blue and Orange line riders could use the Capitol South stop instead of Navy Yard-Ballpark so they don’t have to transfer at L’Enfant or Metro Center.

Cross your fingers for a smooth Friday commute.

For more transportation-related news, click here.

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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