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WMATA trains resume normal service at Stadium-Armory Station following fire


Today, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) Orange and Silver line trains are expected to resume normal service at the Stadium-Armory Station following power system upgrades.

Previously, these trains had been passing through the station without stopping to reduce strain on the electrical system following a substation fire in late September. The fire severely damaged a nine-megawatt substation that supplies electricity to the third rail in the area.

Since the incident, WMATA has had to feed power to the area from smaller adjacent substations, agency officials said in a press release.

The restoration of normal service at the Stadium-Armory Station was possible due to emergency upgrades at an adjacent substation located near the Potomac Avenue Station, WMATA officials said.

In response to the fire, crews identified a workaround by adding three megawatts of electrical output at the Potomac Avenue substation, in addition to its original capacity of four megawatts. As a result, the Potomac Avenue substation now has a capacity of seven megawatts, which is enough to allow Orange, Silver and Blue line trains to stop normally at the Stadium-Armory Station, WMATA officials said.

The additional capacity also allows WMATA to remove most of the operating restrictions that were previously in place to protect the power system from overload.

The agency will continue to run trains on the Orange and Silver lines at eight-minute intervals during rush hours, rather than six-minute intervals, until the Stadium-Armory power substation is restored later this year.

Work continues on an aggressive schedule to rebuild that substation to restore normal rush-hour intervals. Testing of power equipment remains on schedule, and engineers have expressed confidence that the substation can be brought online before the end of the year, WMATA officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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