Monday, August 16, 2010

Metro Tight Lipped about Orange Line Slowdown

Many readers have asked why there is a severe speed restriction between East Falls Church and West Falls Church in the Vienna direction.

From Angelyne:
Why are westbound trains running at very slow speeds between East Falls Church and West Falls Church during evening rush hours? Eastbound trains seem to be running at normal speeds but westbound trains seem to be going less than 25 mph and sometimes stop briefly.
From CS:
"[The restriction] has been on for at least a couple of weeks now. I asked a couple of Metro people, but predictably, couldn't get a straight answer. One said it was because of "dangerous" conditions. The other said he suspected it was related to the Silver Line construction. Train operators have, of course, been useless in explaining the reason. But it's a lengthy section -- about 3,000 feet, one operator said -- and it really slows down the ride even more. I'm not aware that Metro has said anything about this, but they should."
Here's what Metro said:
"There are speed restrictions in the area for maintenance."
None of the readers who've noted this slowdown have seen any sign of any sort of work being done at all.

According to Dr. Gridlock, "There wouldn't be any track work there during the evening rush. And there haven't been any slowdowns for track circuit monitoring out that way in a while."

From CS:
"When I came home Aug. 13, the zone had been extended to begin right after leaving EFC. That hadn't been true before. And the inbound trains are now also running slowly; that wasn't true before, either. And, as I mentioned, there's no obvious signs of work. And even if they do something major, like replace ties, the speed restriction is usually only for a few days.

I think something else is up. I wonder if it's not some total failure of the track circuit for that area, so they're reduced to absolutely minimal speed."
Other items:
Sarles outlines safety measures (WaPo)
Falls Church ends George bus service (WaPo)
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