Heat Concerns Prompt Metro To Limit Train Speed

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credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Triple-digit temperatures added to Metro’s mounting frustrations Tuesday as the rail service was forced to slow trains to 35 miles per hour on above ground tracks.

The speed restrictions were in place for the bulk of rush hour, running from 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The transit system is concerned that rail temperatures above 135 degrees can cause a rail to develop a heat kink.

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“While these speed restrictions may cause some delays and inconvenience, they are intended to put the safety of our passengers first,” Metro’s Deputy General Manager for Operations, Dave Kubicek said.

High temperatures can force the rail to expand. If the expansion cannot be constrained by the ties, clips or ballast on the line,a sudden release of pressure can force the rail to move, which is known as a “kink.”

Metro officials say the speed restrictions will help trains stop in time if there is a problem on the line.

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