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Washington Metro system to shut down 29 hours for inspections at midnight Tuesday

15 March 2016 Community News

WASHINGTON, DC–The entire Washington, D.C., subway system will shut down for at least 29 hours to inspect electrical components on the tracks, beginning Tuesday at midnight.

Metro head Paul J. Wiedefeld said the system would be shut down all of Wednesday. He made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the agency’s headquarters.

He said the Metro subway system will shut down at midnight Tuesday and remain closed until at least 5 a.m. Thursday, which is the regularly scheduled opening time.

The shutdown comes after a fire broke out Monday about 4:30 a.m. in the tunnel outside the McPherson Square station in downtown Washington. The fire led to delays on the orange, blue and silver lines, which go through the station.    The fire was caused by the same kind of electrical component that malfunctioned last year, causing a train to fill with smoke inside a downtown Washington tunnel.

With the district’s commuter rail system out of service until Thursday, federal workers are being told they can take an unscheduled leave or telework on Wednesday.

Office of Personnel Management Spokesman Samuel Schumach says those two options are intended to help ease commuting problems related to Metro’s closure.

The DC Department of Public Works said Tuesday it will ease off on street sweeping violations during the Metro shutdown with the expectation that more parking spaces will be needed for commuters driving to work. That also means residential street sweeping will be suspended on Wednesday.

Normal parking enforcement and street sweeping will resume on Thursday.