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Substation fire suspends service along three WMATA rail lines


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) yesterday halted rail service along a portion of the Blue, Orange and Silver lines following a substation fire near the Stadium-Armory station.

The agency moved all trains out of the area after a report of smoke from the substation. The source of the smoke was determined to be a fire involving one of the substation's three AC/DC transformers, WMATA officials said in a press release.

No injuries were reported.

The two other transformers appeared to be unaffected, but the agency will carry out a full assessment to determine any damage. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Power at the substation near Stadium-Armory remains offline.

WMATA restored service along the lines after reconfiguring power sources to feed electricity to the Stadium-Armory area from adjacent substations. Trains will continue to operate at lower speeds until normal power conditions are restored, WMATA officials said.

This marks the latest in a string of incidents for the D.C.-area transit agency, which in June was harshly criticized by the Federal Transit Administration for lapses in safety practices. In August, a WMATA train derailed as the result of a failed rail fastener that had been identified but not properly reported.

No injuries occurred during that incident, although it occurred shortly before boarding.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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