Metro Shutting Down for 24+ Hours, Starting Tonight at Midnight

Packed Metro platform in DC March 14/Credit: Johab Silva via TwitterAfter a fire on the tracks near McPherson Square snarled Metro service on Monday, Metrorail officials say the entire system will shut down for more than 24 hours beginning tonight.

Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference that 600 third-rail power cables must undergo a safety inspection.

“While the investigation is ongoing, as a preliminary matter, the conditions appear disturbingly similar to those in the L’Enfant incident of a year ago, and our focus is squarely on mitigating any risk of a fire elsewhere on the system,” Wiedefeld said about the 2015 fire in a Metro tunnel that killed one woman and injured dozens.

Metro says the inspections of approximately 600 “jumper cables” will occur along all tunnel segments on the Metro system. The GM could not rule out additional closures if issues are found on the cables.

“While the risk to the public is very low, I cannot rule out a potential life safety issue here, and that is why we must take this action immediately,” Wiedefeld said. “When I say safety is our highest priority, I mean it. That sometimes means making tough, unpopular decisions, and this is one of those times. I fully recognize the hardship this will cause.”

The Metrorail system will close at its normal time tonight (midnight) and remain closed until 5 a.m. Thursday. All six Metrorail lines and all 91 stations will be closed on Wednesday.

Metrobus and MetroAccess service will continue to operate on a regular schedule. Alternate service options throughout the region will be extremely limited, and severe crowding is expected on buses. The public is advised to make alternate travel arrangements as early as possible.

The federal government will be open on Wednesday, with the option for unscheduled leave or telework.

The Silver Line Express Bus won’t operate to or from Wiehle-Reston East to Dulles International Airport Wednesday. Service will resume at 6 a.m. Thursday, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said.

Photo: Packed Metro platform in DC March 14/Credit: Johab Silva via Twitter

Recent Stories

Maybe a haunted hallway? (via Gregg Scott/Flickr) Janie Daum sometimes wishes she never got involved investigating the paranormal and speaking with spirits. “Most people that want to do it, they…

The funeral for Michael Delaney, who went missing after walking out of Reston Hospital last year, is being held this Friday (Oct. 22) at 10 a.m. at St. John Neumann…

A new spa salon concept will replace space vacated by Red Door, a spa that closed permanently due to the pandemic last year. Privai, a luxury skin and body care…

Fairfax County’s Confederate Names Task Force convenes for a meeting on Oct. 18 (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Though they have cropped up with increasing regularity both locally and nationally…


Subscribe to our mailing list