Metro News Release

For immediate release: June 16, 2005

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Metro Identifies Source of Track Circuit MalfunctionBetween Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn
Repairs to be Made this Weekend;Metro to Continue Eight-Car Trains During Afternoon Rush

Metro officials today identified the source of a track circuit problem on the Orange and Blue Line between the Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn Metrorail stations that has been causing delays over the past week.. Repairs will be made this weekend so that normal service will resume on Monday morning.

The problem was a defective 3,000-foot communications cable located between the Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn Metrorail stations, 135 feet under ground. Over the past week, Metro officials conducted a series of diagnostic tests checking all 17 track circuits between the two stations. The defective cable, located early this morning, was the primary reason that the track circuit failed on Tuesday, June 7, outside the Foggy Bottom Metrorail station. Since then, trains have been operating manually at reduced speed.

The track circuit problem caused delays between the two stations. At the same time, more significant delays were experienced by passengers traveling to the end of the line stations at Vienna/Fairfax-GMU and Franconia-Springfield.

Problems with a track circuit began June 7, just after 6 p.m. in the tunnel between Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn. Computers ensure that trains maintain a certain distance between each other. But the distances weren’t being automatically maintained in a 1,000- foot section of track between Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn because of the malfunction. As a precaution, trains have been operating manually ever since.

To ease delays on the line, Metro has been operating eight-car trains since Monday afternoon rush hour to ease Blue and Orange Line delays. Nine, 8-car trains have been operating every two-and-a-half minutes on the Orange Line during the afternoon peak.

News release issued on June 16, 2005.


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