A Closer Look At Metro's Cracked Rail Problem

10:55 PM, Feb 2, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- You never know when a problem like a cracked rail is going to pop up on Metro, and they are popping up a lot more in the last few years.

A Metro spokesperson says cracked rails are a sign of the aging system. The agency is undergoing a 5 year, $5 billion project to fix the problem.

In the meantime, passengers are left with miserable commutes like they had last week on the Red line. Crews hauled off the section of cracked rail from the station last week. Metro single tracked the trains until repairs were done, which made a miserable commute for hundreds of people in packed trains.

Metro tells the Washington Examiner there are several causes for the breaks, cold, water corrosion, or stress on misaligned tracks when trains pass over them. 

Take a look at the numbers:

  • in 2009 there were 19 cracked rails
  • 33 in 2010 
  • 49 last year alone.

Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel says it is important to note that last January and this January we had six breaks so the number is about the same as last year.

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