Red Line Delay Tangles Rush Hour

Metro gave riders different announcements about problems outside Bethesda

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Riders on one D.C.-bound Red Line train were forced off at the Gosvenor-Strathmore station in north Bethesda, where the platform was already crowded with waiting passengers. An announcement on the train said there was a fire on the tracks. An announcement in the stations blamed a "track problem" and another announcement said there was a switch problem.

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Problems on Metrorail’s Red Line in Montgomery County caused lingering delays for hundreds of commuters Friday morning.

Metro reported a “track problem” outside Bethesda at about 7:30 a.m., causing trains to single track between the Grosvenor-Strathmore and Friendship Heights stops.

Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services, said firefighters were investigating a flaming insulator along the tracks. He later tweeted there was no smoke or fire emergency.

The issue was resolved in about 20 minutes, but Metro soon after reported another issue along the Red Line near the Medical Center stop, causing trains to single track again, this time for about 20 minutes.

Crews again were investigating reports of a flaming insulator, according to Piringer. Trains were operating as normal by 8:35 a.m., but Metro officials cautioned riders to expect “lingering delays.”

Washington-bound passengers on one 8-car train from Shady Grove were forced to get off  at the Grosvenor-Strathmore station in North Bethesda when the operator said the train was being ordered out of service. They waited with scores of people already on the platform and had received conflicting announcements about the reason for the delays, including a track fire near Bethesda, a switch problem and a bad insulator.

An earlier problem reported around 7 a.m. forced trains on the Orange Line to operate every 12 minutes due to a power station that had gone offline.

Under Metro’s “Rush Hour Promise,” any customer whose trip took 10 minutes or longer than it should have will receive a credit on their registered SmarTrip card. Anyone who isn’t already registered but was affected by Friday’s delays can register by the end of the delay to receive the credit, a Metro spokesperson said.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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