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Rail News: Passenger Rail

East Coast transit agencies work to restore rail service after blizzard


As the East Coast digs out from last weekend's snowstorm, transit agencies are rolling out plans to get rail systems back online or operate service on a limited basis.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) initially planned to reopen its Metrorail system this morning, with service on all lines except the Silver Line. However, weather-related damage and icing issues on the third rail prevented the agency from opening four Orange Line stations as scheduled, WMATA officials said in a service alert.

Passengers prepare to board at a Metrorail station.
Photo: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

The damage was discovered overnight as test trains ran on the line. The trains couldn't move through the area reliably and maintain third-rail power to sustain service, WMATA officials said.

Meanwhile, the Maryland Transit Administration on Monday suspended all light-rail service while maintenance crews cleared snow and ice from the tracks. Today, the agency is operating limited light-rail service with the hope of returning to normal operations by week's end.

For its part, MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) last night announced plans to resume service system-wide today. The update came after LIRR and state workers cleared the railroad's branches that were left snowbound by the blizzard, LIRR officials said.