Rail lines prepare for heat wave

Virginia Railway Express passengers can expect delays Tuesday as the extreme heat forces trains to slow down.

VRE Spokesman Mark Roeber said CSX has issued heat orders for all Fredericksburg Line trains. Passengers can expect delays of about 10 minutes this evening, he said. Norfolk Southern, which owns the rail used by the Manassas Line trains, had not issued any heat warnings as of noon Tuesday.

Trains must slow during extreme heat because the steel rails will expand, VRE officials said. Although this expansion is taken into consideration during the construction period, there are occasions when the expansion can cause a "sun kink," or a shift in the track that causes a curve in an otherwise straight pair of rails.

Rail officials will monitor the tracks throughout the day and if weather conditions change, restrictions could be lifted, VRE officials said.
Source: voices.washingtonpost.com

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