• Metrorail closes 39 above-ground stations (Dec 19 Storm)

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by justalurker66
 
http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/P ... aseID=4197
Metrorail officials began the process of closing above-ground stations at about 12:15 p.m. today (Saturday, December 19), in preparation for closing those 39 stations by 1 p.m. due to rapidly deteriorating weather conditions that hindered train movement. Metrobus and paratransit service also were stopped at 1 p.m. today due to unsafe road conditions.
Local officials in the Washington Metropolitan area urged residents to stay home last night and again today.
Metro has 86 stations and 106-miles of track. Forty-seven stations along 50.5 miles of track are located underground and 39 stations along 55.5 miles of track are above ground. All 39 above-ground stations are closed. Modified underground service is operating as follows:

Yellow Line – Service from Pentagon to Crystal City only
Red Line – Service between Medical Center and Union Station only
Orange Line – Service between Ballston and Stadium-Armory only
Green Line – Service between Fort Totten and Congress Heights only
Blue Line – Service between Ballston (extended to Blue Line) and Stadium-Armory only
Blue and Orange are the same pairs. The yellow line three station segment is isolated (it is a shame that the Arlington station segment of rail isn't covered to keep the system in one piece). The article also reports that trains are being stored/staged underground to be ready for Dec 20th service.
  by tommyboy6181
 
It's definitely a tough day outside from what I am seeing online with the coverage. Metro stopped above-ground rail and all bus service at 1pm.

Live coverage at: www.wusa9.com
  by usa4624
 
It's amazing that Metro has not bought any snow fighting equipment to keep trains running during heavy snow storms. It seems like there has been a "Once every Fifty Years" Blizzard every year since service started in 1976!
  by Sand Box John
 
"usa4624"It's amazing that Metro has not bought any snow fighting equipment to keep trains running during heavy snow storms. It seems like there has been a "Once every Fifty Years" Blizzard every year since service started in 1976!

Actually 2 this one and the one on 01 13 1982 when Palm 90 went into the Potomac River. There have been couple lesser storms that has caused WMATA to pull the plug. Mind you in 1982 WMATA did not have the amount of surface mileage it does today.

The mentality in the Washington DC area during storms like this is to pack it in. The public safety folks were telling everybody to stay home. Most business did not even bother to open their doors today.

I was surprised this morning when I got up and saw trains running on the Orange line in Virginia.

Image
Inbound Orange line, West Falls Church, 0735 12 19 2009
VDOT traffic camera frame grab.

Image
Inbound Orange line, West Falls Church, 1512 12 19 2009
VDOT traffic camera frame grab.

2 hours after service was suspended, notice the more then a foot of snow on cab roof of the grader.

Image
Inbound Orange line, West Falls Church, 1711 12 19 2009
VDOT traffic camera frame grab.

Notice that the third rail is totally under the snow.
  by justalurker66
 
http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/P ... aseID=4202

As of 4pm the yellow line bridge is open ... and will be the only above ground rails open for the time being ... ending the isolation of the Pentagon, Pentagon City and Crystal City stations. The yellow line will run every 12-15 minutes to L’Enfant Plaza. Limited service has also resumed on 23 bus routes.
  by Amtrak7
 
justalurker66 wrote:http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/P ... aseID=4202

As of 4pm the yellow line bridge is open ... and will be the only above ground rails open for the time being ... ending the isolation of the Pentagon, Pentagon City and Crystal City stations. The yellow line will run every 12-15 minutes to L’Enfant Plaza. Limited service has also resumed on 23 bus routes.
The advisories page says Yellow trains are running Crystal City-Mt Vernon.

Also, in that photo, I-66 appears to be closed. True or false?
  by justalurker66
 
Amtrak7 wrote:The advisories page says Yellow trains are running Crystal City-Mt Vernon.
The advisory page isn't as clear as the press release, although at this moment there is a yellow line train boarding for Mt Vernon at L'Enfant Plaza on the status map.
Also, in that photo, I-66 appears to be closed. True or false?
It looks like there is a car coming under the bridge. Probably just unused/lightly used more than officially closed.
  by farecard
 
Both the WMATA map and at least one link says Ft. Totten is closed.
Why can't they keep the Green Line to there running?
It's all covered!

Even unplowed, many lines run though far worse snow. The Cleveland RTA just keeps going. I gather the general issue is the regular rolling stock gets wet motors. True?

With both deicing and scraping; I can't see why the third rail is such an issue. Just keep making passes all night. I assume the lead car's controls still function even if its shoes both lose power; true?
  by Sand Box John
 
"SchuminWeb"
Meanwhile, what exactly does "heater tape" look like? I'm trying to visualize it, and am at a bit of a loss.


I don’t think there are any photo posted to the Internet of the "heater tape" WMATA uses. It basically looks like a 1/4 rod clamped to the side of the rail.
  by farecard
 
It comes in many forms. For gutters and pipes it's flexible and looks like say 3/16" extension cord. For railroad use, think something far sturdier.
  by justalurker66
 
farecard wrote:Both the WMATA map and at least one link says Ft. Totten is closed.
Why can't they keep the Green Line to there running?
It's all covered!
It is open with a train boarding at the moment ... The station itself is open air. Perhaps they were cleaning show when you checked?
Even unplowed, many lines run though far worse snow. The Cleveland RTA just keeps going.
Is Cleveland third rail? Seems like a bad example anyways since Cleveland RTA doesn't keep going on a good day. There are huge service gaps during midday. Chicago might be a better example of a system that takes a snowfall and keeps running ... and is also 3rd rail.

With WMATA's history of banging trains together it is better not to be running them on slick rails. Especially on a weekend when people shouldn't be out.
  by tommyboy6181
 
Is Cleveland third rail?
No, Cleveland uses all overhead canternary for both the light rail and heavy rail. It is one of the very few systems in the country to use overhead wires for heavy rail (a portion of Boston's Blue Line comes to mind from Airport to Orient.) Robert- correct me if I mixed up the stations on that line.
Both the WMATA map and at least one link says Ft. Totten is closed.
Why can't they keep the Green Line to there running?
It's all covered!
As for the Ft. Totten question, only part of the station is underground, and that is roughly 1/2 of the Green Line platform (approximately 300 out of 600ft). My guess is because the station is aboveground for the most part, the snow even on the lower platform could create a situation where you can only run X amount of cars and no turnback. Example: possibly could only run 4 cars instead of 6 or 8 cars. Then you run into the situation where if you only offload in the subway portion, it creates a bottleneck.

Slowly but surely, rail service is getting back to normal. The latest is that the western end of the Red Line has reopened from Medical Center to Shady Grove according to the latest press release.
http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/P ... aseID=4204
  by jamesinclair
 
tommyboy6181 wrote:
Is Cleveland third rail?
No, Cleveland uses all overhead canternary for both the light rail and heavy rail. It is one of the very few systems in the country to use overhead wires for heavy rail (a portion of Boston's Blue Line comes to mind from Airport to Orient.) Robert- correct me if I mixed up the stations on that line.
The Boston blue line is 3rd rail from Bowdoin to Airport, and overhead from airport to wonderland. Orient heights to airport has both modes available, but trains switch at airport because the station demands longer dwell times.


As for DC...it's the only system that I know of that closed during this storm. Even Baltimore kept both modes running. There really is no excuse, theyre in the business of transportation and should always run during an emergency.

No plows available? Most systems dont have plows, they just run trains every 5 minutes to keep the rail clear.


(Most systems do have minor disruptions, I know SEPTA had 30 minute delays, and Boston closed the little used ashmont-mattapan line which uses PCC cars (bus shuttles were used instead)