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Rail News: Safety

WMATA endures another smoke incident; GM to release track repair plan


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) yesterday temporarily suspended rail service on a portion of its Orange, Silver and Blue lines due to a smoke incident at the Federal Center station.

The incident, which occurred yesterday afternoon, stemmed from a debris fire, according to radio station WAMU. Earlier that day, WMATA's surveillance cameras captured a separate explosion caused by an arcing insulator.

Video courtesy of the Washington Post.

This marks the agency's second smoke incident in under two weeks. On April 23, there was a similar incident outside the Friendship Heights Station in Washington, D.C.

Early this morning, WMATA announced that rail service on the three lines had resumed following installation of new third-rail equipment at the station.

Meanwhile, WMATA General Manager and Paul Wiedefeld today will hold a news conference to unveil his comprehensive track repair plan to improve safety and reliability. The plan is expected to call for extensive closures over a months-long period on all rail lines, WAMU reported.

The closures could occur for days or weeks on various segments of track and would involve two to three stations at a time. The work will be targeted along parts of track inside and outside D.C.'s downtown core, which are among the oldest segments of the system.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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