DC Metro apologizes for Monday shutdown

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The agency that operates Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail subway system is apologizing to passengers on three of its lines for widespread delays after service was shut down for hours on Monday morning. 

“Metro apologizes for the significant delays, crowding and inconvenience many of you experienced this morning,” the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) said in a statement.

“Shortly before 8 a.m., Metro’s Operations Control Center received a report of smoke in the tunnel between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom stations,” the agency continued. “For your safety, both tracks were taken out of service while appropriate fire department personnel, along with Metro response crews, investigated and rectified the issue.” 

{mosads}The Metro shutdown occurred after an electrical incident that is known as a arcing insulator occurred at the agency’s Rosslyn station, which is a connecting point for three of its six subway lines. 

The incident was similar to a Jan. 12 event that resulted in the death of a passenger when a train on Metro’s Yellow line filled with smoke. It has sparked congressional investigations. 

The capital area transit agency said it shut down service on the three lines that run from Northern Virginia to downtown Washington, D.C., to prevent a reoccurrence of the Jan. 12 incident. 

“Please know that the actions taken this morning were with your safety as our highest priority,” the agency said. “Despite the fact that there was no significant smoke in any station, Blue, Orange and Silver line service was suspended between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom out of caution, resulting in significant delays in service on all three lines.

“We established limited shuttle bus service as an alternative, and ran a shuttle train between Rosslyn and Pentagon, enabling some riders to switch to the Yellow Line,” the statement continued. “Despite these alternatives, we know that many of you experienced extremely long, crowded trips this morning.” 

Metro riders took to Twitter on Monday to vent about their frustration with the service interruption. 

Metro said it restored service on the shutdown lines by Monday afternoon, but the agency said it would be a while before it got back to normal levels. 

“Rail service was restored shortly after 11 a.m. on a single track following the replacement of multiple third-rail insulators that were showing signs of electrical sparking (known as ‘arcing’),” the agency said. “Additional repairs required that parts be brought to the location from Maryland, further contributing to the length of our response. We expect to have these repairs completed by mid-afternoon, with normal two-track service in time for this evening’s rush hour.” 

Metro offered an apology to customers on all three of the lines that were shut down. 

“Again, we sincerely apologize for your experience this morning,” the agency said. “Should you wish to share feedback with us, please contact Metro Customer Service at (202) 637-1328 or online at”

Tags Blue Line Orange Line Silver Line Washington Metro Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

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