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More Delays for Orange Line After Second Derailment

Metro crews work to move the storm sewer cleaning machine  back onto the track at the Courthouse station. This piece of track-maintenance equipment  derailed at about 4:30 a.m. and caused major delays.
Metro crews work to move the storm sewer cleaning machine back onto the track at the Courthouse station. This piece of track-maintenance equipment derailed at about 4:30 a.m. and caused major delays. (Gerald Martineau - The Washington Post)

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By Lena H. Sun and Debbi Wilgoren
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 19, 2009; 3:06 PM

This is going to be a bad day for Orange Line riders. The vacuum truck that derailed this morning and caused major delays has derailed again. That means riders can expect delays this afternoon, officials said.

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The second derailment occurred at 1:56 p.m., just 10 minutes after the morning situation had cleared, Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said. Trains will be sharing a single track between East Falls Church and West Falls Church until personnel can get the truck back on the tracks.

The derailment this morning caused major delays on the Orange Line and trains had to share a single track between Clarendon and Foggy Bottom. That ended at 1:46 p.m., he said. The vacuum truck, which had been used for routine track maintenance work downtown and was headed back to the West Falls church rail yard, derailed at 4:30 a.m. when its wheels popped off the tracks at the Court House Metrorail station. There were no injuries.

Although the Blue Line operates on a separate set of tracks, it uses several of the same stations, and officials said the Orange Line problems affected Blue Line service as well this morning.

Delays of 40 minutes or more were reported in the morning.

Metro officials also announced today that track maintenance on the Blue and Red lines scheduled for this weekend will require single tracking on both lines between some stations.

Blue Line travel will be affected Friday night from 10 p.m. until the system shuts down, between the Stadium-Armory and Addison Road-Seat Pleasant stations. Red Line service will be affected between Silver Spring and Forest Glen, from Friday night through Sunday night, as personnel replace rail fasteners that stabilize the tracks.

Delays of about 20 minutes per trip are expected.


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