Friday, November 30, 2007

Lingering Leaves Hobble Metro

From the WMATA:

Speed restrictions that were put in place this morning, Friday, November 30, for safety reasons were lifted at 8:10 a.m. The fall leaves combined with the morning dew caused unusually slippery conditions on Metrorail tracks, so trains were operating at slower-than-usual speeds during the morning rush hour from 5 until 8:10 a.m.

Customers experienced only minor delays of between three and five minutes as a result of the slower-moving trains.

Trains, which operate at speeds in the 55 mph range in some areas of the Metrorail system, were temporarily restricted to a maximum of 30 mph in several segments of the rail system. This directly impacted 27 of the system's 86 stations.

The leaves have lingered on trees longer than usual this season, and this year as they continue to fall, they get crushed onto the tracks by train wheels. The combination of the crushed leaves and morning dew has resulted in difficult braking and accelerating conditions for trains. Metro officials, who have been carefully monitoring morning weather conditions, slowed down the vehicles to improve safety conditions.


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