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Pentagon City Metro station(Updated at 6:50 p.m.) Yellow Line Metro service has been suspended due to heavy smoke in the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station.

Metro has suspended Yellow Line service from between Pentagon City and Mt. Vernon Square. Green Line service is also suspended.

According to Arlington scanner reports, a Yellow Line train is disabled somewhere between the L’Enfant and Pentagon Metro stations. Medics responded to the Pentagon station due to reports of at least one person having difficulty breathing on the train, but the train is being evacuated in D.C. (photos below) and Arlington units have since been released.

A “mass casualty incident” was declared and rescues were being made at L’Enfant, according to the D.C. firefighters union. The mass casualty designation is likely due to the riders stuck on the disabled train, inside a smoke-filled tunnel. The fire that was the source of the smoke has since been extinguished.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles told NBC 4 Tuesday evening that dozens of people have been taken to the hospital, including two people who are in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital. One person died as a result of the incident, Sarles said.

During the incident, Arlington firefighters responded to an electrical room at the Rosslyn Metro station for a report of smoke. It’s unclear if that smoke might have traveled through the tunnels from L’Enfant or is the result of a separate incident. Units on the scene say there’s a smell of smoke but no evacuations are necessary.

Blue, Orange and Silver Line trains are continuing to run through L’Enfant station without stopping, according to Metro. Still, riders should expect major evening rush hour delays.

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Pentagon City Metro stationArlington residents who take the Yellow Line to and from the District will have to take the Blue Line instead.

Metrorail service on the Yellow Line will be suspended from 10:00 p.m. Friday through system closing on Sunday, to allow the annual safety inspection of the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River.

Yellow Line riders in Virginia are instead advised to take the Blue Line, which will run at normal weekend intervals.

Orange Line riders, meanwhile, will be subject to delays this weekend. Orange Line trains will run every 20 minutes, starting Friday night at 10:00, due to track work and platform reconstruction at the Minnesota Avenue and Deanwood stations.

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There are significant delays on the Blue and Yellow lines due to a track problem near Reagan National Airport.

The delays are impacting both inbound and outbound trains on both lines. From WMATA:

Metrorail customers on the Blue and Yellow lines will experience delays of approximately 20 30-35 minutes this morning as trains share a single track between Braddock Road and Pentagon City. Shortly before 5 a.m., an accidental leak of hydraulic fluid on the outbound track created a slippery condition for trains. Personnel are on the scene working to clear the fluid to allow two-track train operations to resume. The clean up effort is expected to last through rush hour.

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Metro riders should plan on major disruptions on the Yellow Line and delays on the Orange Line this weekend.

The Yellow Line will be closed between the Fort Totten and Pentagon stations this weekend. The closure is the result of work on the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River and switch replacement outside L’Enfant Plaza.

“Customers traveling to/from Downtown DC should use Blue Line trains to complete their trip,” Metro said in a press release. “Transfer between Blue and Yellow line trains at any station between Pentagon and King Street-Old Town.”

Trains on the Orange Line will be single-tracking between the East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations this weekend, for work on the Silver Line extension project.

“Throughout the weekend, trains will operate every 24 minutes between Vienna and New Carrollton,” Metro said. “Customers using Orange Line trains should allow 15 minutes of additional travel time.”

The work is scheduled to start at 10:00 p.m. tonight (Friday) and continue through system closing on Sunday.

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Metro will be performing major track work this weekend on all five rail lines, including the Blue, Orange and Yellow lines. Riders should expect some delays starting at 10:00 p.m. Friday (tonight) through system closing on Sunday.

Orange Line trains will be single-tracking between the East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations for testing of the Dulles rail project. As a result, Orange Line trains will be running roughly every 24 minutes in each direction.

Blue Line trains will be single-tracking between Braddock Road and Van Dorn Street for rail rehabilitation. Trains will run every 24 minutes in each direction. WMATA says Blue and Orange line trains will be coordinated to that one arrives every 12 minutes from Rosslyn to Stadium-Armory.

Yellow Line trains will also be single-tracking, between Braddock Road and Huntington, for rail rehabilitation. Like the Blue and Orange lines, Yellow Line trains will be running every 24 minutes in each direction.

Metro says that additional trains may be placed into service on any of the three lines “based on ridership and available track space.”

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Metro commuters who use the Blue and Yellow Lines are facing delays this morning.

A cracked Yellow Line rail, caused by the recent dramatic downward swing in temperatures, is forcing trains to use a single track near the Pentagon.

The track problem is causing 20-30 minutes delays on the Yellow Line and slight delays on the Blue Line, according to WMATA. As a result, Metro is advising customers to use the Blue Line instead of the Yellow.

Crews will not be able to fix the cracked rail until after the morning rush hour, according to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

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Update at 9:40 a.m. — Normal service has been restored between Braddock Road and Reagan National Airport. That will likely result in a couple of crowded trains running through Arlington stations, as residual crowds of stranded riders at Braddock Road clear out.

Thanks to flooding near Potomac Yard, the Blue and Yellow Lines have been split in two between Braddock Road and Reagan National Airport this morning.

But while riders were treated to disaster movie-like scenes at the Braddock Road Metro station, where a crush of humanity lined up for shuttle buses to Reagan National, Yellow and Blue Line riders in Arlington said the morning commute was pretty average.

“Pentagon City crowded but not terrible,” Twitter user @smmccue told us. “No trains listed on arrivals board.”

“Not too bad. Slightly crowded, but nothing out of the ordinary,” said @nemesisgal. “Yellow Line train seemed a bit empty, but I just thought it was the August Effect.”

WMATA says it is pumping water in the flooded area.

“Service will be restored as quickly and safely as possible,” the transit agency said.

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Metro is warning Blue and Yellow Line riders to add a half hour to their travel time this weekend.

Track work, starting at 10:00 tonight and ending at midnight on Sunday, will force trains to single-track through parts of the system.

Metro says riders should expect trains to run about every 30 minutes on both lines.

As a reminder, those driving into the District may also face delays this weekend. Chain Bridge will be closed to all traffic starting at 9:00 tonight.

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Track equipment similar to the one that broke down outside National Airport Monday afternoon (photo via WMATA)Metro riders had an especially awful commute home on the Yellow and Blue lines tonight.

A piece of maintenance equipment — like the one pictured, left — broke down just outside the National Airport station this afternoon, leading to single-tracking. While the equipment was eventually moved to allow normal rail operations, delays lingered into the evening rush.

Via Twitter, riders reported various problems, from long delays to trains being offloaded at already-crowded station.

https://twitter.com/HannahLeisman/status/686676734188589061

As of publication time, even more issues and delays were being reported on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines in D.C.

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Arlingtonians planning on taking Metro this weekend might want to allot more time than usual for their trips.

All four Metro lines running through Arlington will have delays this weekend, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The transit authority said riders should expect “service adjustments” on Saturday and Sunday for lines running through Northern Virginia.

On the Blue and Yellow lines, Metro will be single-tracking between the stations at Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road. WMATA said riders should expect a train every 30 minutes.

The cause of the single-tracking is ongoing work at the Potomac Yard Metro station in Alexandria, according to WMATA. Originally scheduled to open this coming April, the station’s opening was pushed back to next September.

The Orange Line, meanwhile, will be shut down between the East Falls Church and Ballston Metro stations for radio cable installation.

“Trains will operate in two segments: Vienna to East Falls Church and Ballston to New Carrollton,” WMATA said on its website. “Free shuttle buses available.”

The Silver Line will only be running from East Falls Church out to the Wiehle-Reston East station. Silver Line riders will have to take a shuttle bus to continue on the Orange Line.

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Metro officials are sending an unusual, and perhaps alarming, message to commuters ahead of two weeks of major construction on the Silver, Orange and Blue lines: stay away, if you can.

Starting Saturday (Aug. 11) and running through Aug. 26, Metro will shut down the Blue Line completely starting at the Arlington Cemetery station, and single-track between the McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations. Officials expect that will result in 20-minute headways on the Orange and Silver lines “at all times,” and it’s urging riders to “only use Metrorail if you have no other option.”

That’s sure to create huge headaches for commuters all over Arlington, but county officials say there just isn’t much they can do to mitigate the impact of the track work.

“There’s just no way we can replace the capacity that’s going to be lost,” County Board Vice Chair Christian Dorsey, who also serves on Metro’s Board of Directors, told ARLnow. “There are alternatives, but the only way this is really going to work is if people who can and are able to find alternatives, do so.”

Dorsey suggested that some commuters could turn to Metrobus, or perhaps to Arlington Transit — Metro recommends ART’s 42 line between Ballston and the Pentagon and the 43 line between Courthouse and Crystal City, as both could help commuters transfer to the Yellow Line, which will have some enhanced service.

Dorsey added that the county will be able to bump up service on some ART routes reaching the city, but only slightly, noting “we just don’t have enough buses to be deployed” to fully compensate for the construction work.

Fundamentally, however, Dorsey expects “extreme crowding” and “incredible chaos” at Metro stations in D.C.’s urban core, particularly during the first few days of the track work before commuters fully adjust. That’s why he’d rather see people turn to teleworking, if possible, or adjust their commutes to arrive in D.C. a bit later than normal.

“We want to make sure to level-set expectations, and let them know that getting them there within an acceptable time frame not going to be possible,” Dorsey said. “But this is being done with the expectation, too, that fewer people will be affected at this time of the year.”

Yet some of Metro’s (many) critics suggest that WMATA isn’t doing all it could to make life easier for commuters as the work gets going. Stephen Repetski, a close Metro observer and contributor at Greater Greater Washington, has suggested that WMATA could “turn back” trains at select Silver, Orange and Blue stations, in order to ease the pain at stations outside of the work zone.

In particular, Repetski believes Metro could reverse trains at Arlington stations like Ballston or Clarendon, which would be a boon for county commuters. He argues that failing to do so “will result in severe, and unnecessary, service cuts for riders.”

But Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly wrote in an email that turning back trains at Ballston, Clarendon, Foggy Bottom or stations in the eastern half of the city “would not address the capacity issues in the downtown core, requiring customers traveling to/from downtown D.C. to offload and board already crowded trains.”

“In this scenario, it could create dangerous crowding conditions on platforms as trains would likely be too crowded for customers to board,” Ly wrote.

As for McPherson Square and Smithsonian, Ly says “the location of the work zone” makes turning trains around at the stations a real challenge.

“The work zone…extends beyond the platform at both McPherson Square and Federal Triangle,” Ly wrote. “Turning a train would block trains coming through the single track, while a train offloads and turns back. For service efficiency, we would need both platforms to turn trains back.”

All those specifics aside, Dorsey reiterates that two solutions remain the simplest for commuters: “Either don’t ride, or temper your expectations.”

“If you’re able to do one or both, then you’ll be fine,” Dorsey said.

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