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Frigid Temperatures Freeze Morning Commute On Metro

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There was nowhere one could escape Metro delays on Wednesday morning.
Jing Jin: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jinmomo/7892059976/
There was nowhere one could escape Metro delays on Wednesday morning.

Metro is blaming the cold weather for most of the problems during this morning's commute.

About the only thing that went right during Alexandria resident Susan Bowyer's commute was a Yellow Line train was waiting for her at the station. After it departed for D.C., it was one problem after another.

"And then we sat somewhere between Huntington and Eisenhower for at least 10 minutes, probably longer, as the conductor announced there was a frozen switch ahead of us," Bowyer says.

Her usual 45 minute commute took 90 minutes. Thousands of commuters can relate, as there were problems on all five lines this morning.

"Extreme cold temperatures have an effect on mechanical systems," says Dan Stessel, spokesman for Metro. "That's true of our trains, and mostly it has been mechanical problems with the trains themselves."

He says commuters should be prepared for the possibility of more delays this afternoon going home.

"The system was designed 40 years ago," he says. "We would like it to be more rugged and we are designing it to be more rugged in the future. That will manifest itself with the arrival of the 7000 series rail cars."

There is a silver lining, however, for the commute home. The majority of Metrobus service has resumed normal routing, with only a handful of routes still operating on  snow detour. And MetroAccess has resumed service as of noon on Wednesday.

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