Metrorail Snow Service

Metrorail station with snow

How much snow is too much snow?

Metrorail can operate very close to a normal schedule in snowfall of four to six inches. You might experience crowding conditions as commuters who normally drive chose Metro for their commute. Sometimes snow and ice clearing equipment must operate between regularly scheduled passenger trains, which can cause longer waits between trains as snow is cleared.

When snowfall approaches eight inches, it's a different story.

Schools close, businesses and governments institute liberal leave policies or close altogether, and the region curtails all but the most basic services. Likewise, Metro's focus shifts when blizzards are predicted and snow accumulates beyond eight inches. When the temperature drops and weather deteriorates, the electrified third rail can become snow-impacted, aboveground tracks may ice over, and rail yards can become impassable.

For safety reasons, as well as to preserve our railcars and allow for faster recovery after the storm, Metro may suspend aboveground rail service in a major snowstorm and serve only underground stations. In some cases when snowfall is not equal throughout the region, rail service may operate in some aboveground areas, but not in others.

While we realize some customers will be inconvenienced by snow-related service changes, taking these precautions helps ensure that Metro is able to ramp up to full service sooner once the storm passes.

The map below shows the underground portions of our system. Aboveground sections are faded.

Map of Metrorail system showing underground operations when limited by heavy snow

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