No above ground rail service, Metrobus or MetroAccess service on Sunday, Feb. 7
Snow continues to impact Metro services
The Metrorail system will continue operating underground-only and Metrobus and MetroAccess will remain closed tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 7. Officials will continue to evaluate rail and road conditions throughout the day on Sunday in hopes of expanding service if conditions improve.
Metro has 86 stations and 106-miles of track. Forty-six stations along 50.5 miles of track are located underground and 40 stations along 55.5 miles of track are above ground. All 40 above-ground stations are closed. Tomorrow morning, the Metrorail system will open at 7 a.m. and close at midnight with trains servicing stations at 30-minute intervals to the underground stations as follows:
Yellow Line – Pentagon to Crystal City
Red Line – Medical Center to Union Station and Glenmont to Forest Glen
Orange Line – Ballston to Stadium-Armory
Green Line – Fort Totten to Congress Heights
Blue Line – Ballston to Stadium-Armory
“The region saw near-record amounts of snowfall and we are working safely and diligently to clear the snow and ice from the tracks so that we can expand our service area and resume service to our above-ground stations,” said Dave Kubicek, Metro’s Deputy General Manager for Operations. “Our snow-clearing efforts have been more challenging than usual because of the heavy amount of snowfall.”
Throughout this evening and into tomorrow, heavy-duty diesel-powered trains will continue clearing and de-icing the exposed above-ground sections of track, to get them in shape for moving trains.
Road conditions have thwarted the efforts of many Metro employees who have had difficulty reporting to work. In some instances, supervisors in SUVs have gone to the homes of employees to pick them up and take them to their worksites.
Metrorail employees and contractors who were able to report to work have been working throughout the day and will continue their efforts tomorrow to clear the rails of ice and snow and to clear platforms, sidewalks, parking facilities and pathways to rail stations. They have been focusing mainly on the entrance areas of underground stations, including shoveling of snow off of exposed escalators.
Contractors also are in the process of clearing paths to above-ground stations in preparation for their reopening. On Monday customers should expect to see surface parking facilities piled with snow, consuming spaces where vehicles usually park. The top level of parking decks also are expected to have snow on them on Monday. Metro officials anticipate having 75 percent of parking spaces available at all parking facilities.
Dozens of railcars were stored in the underground tunnels Friday night to keep them free of snow and ice, however hundreds of railcars are still under snow in Metro’s rail yards. The heavy equipment used to clear the rail yards is still focusing on clearing above-ground tracks. Once the tracks are clear, that equipment will then be refocused on clearing the rail yards in preparation for service on Monday.
As snow accumulated on the rails on Friday, Feb. 5, Metrorail officials decided to limit train service to its 40 underground stations starting at 11 p.m. Metrobus service stopped at 9 p.m., and MetroAccess operations were completed by 7 p.m. Friday evening.
Metro started the weekend with 2,200 tons of bulk rock salt to treat Metro roadways and parking lots and 18,000, 50-pound bags of de-icer for treating sidewalks and platforms. Hundreds of snow-trained employees and contractors have been working throughout the night and into today to treat snowy and icy surfaces at Metrorail stations including platforms, sidewalks and parking facilities.
Metro also is using “heater tape,” which has been installed on sections of track with significant grades/inclines and in critical areas in the rail yards. The heater tape is a cable clipped onto the electrified third rail that is turned on when temperatures dip below the freezing mark. It helps keep the third rail warm enough to prevent ice from forming.
How to get Updates on Winter Weather Conditions
There are a variety of ways for customers to stay informed during a major storm. Metro constantly updates local news media of Metro service changes. Information is also available on Metro’s home page at www.metroopensdoors.com. Customers can also subscribe to e-Alerts and receive up-to-date service disruption information on Metrorail and MetroAccess.
News release issued at 5:44 pm, February 6, 2010.