Metro Increasing Staff for Today's Commute After System-Wide Failures

Delays began shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Derrick Ward reports on a 45 minute system shutdown on metro. (Published Saturday, Jul 14, 2012)

    Metro plans to have extra personnel available for the morning commute after a software program for tracking trains crashed twice over the weekend.

    The supervisory staff will be available to deal with any problems Monday.

    Riders React To Metro Stoppage

    [DC] Riders React To Metro Stoppage
    News4's Darcy Spencer spoke to riders affected by Saturday's systemwide computer malfunction. (Published Monday, Jul 16, 2012)

    Hundreds of passengers were stranded and dozens of trains were forced to idle for about a half hour due to glitches early Sunday and Saturday afternoon.

    Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says the computer issue affected Metro's ability to see where trains were on the lines. He says trains in motion continued to their next stations, then sat with the doors open until the problem was resolved.

    Stessel says the shutdowns were ordered out of "an abundance of caution." He added that the signal system, which ensures that trains maintain enough space between them, remained operational.

    WMATA is continuing to investigate the cause of the computer problem.

    According to WMATA, the first computer issue happened shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday and hindered their ability to see where the trains were located in the system. As a precaution, trains were brought into the nearest station and then held until service was restored.

    "The computer problem affected an information management system that allows controllers in Metro's Rail Operations Control Center to see where trains are on a dynamic map and to remotely control switches," Metro said in a statement released Sunday afternoon.

    Service was officially restored at 2:45 p.m. on the Red Line. All other lines were brought back into service by 2:50 p.m.

    In all, 40 trains were in service when the computer system went down Saturday afternoon. It was not immediately clear how many customers were affected. No injuries were reported.

    Passengers began tweeting about delays on the rail system shortly before 2:15 p.m. WMATA issued a statement at 2:30 p.m. that read as follows: "All Rail Lines: Expect delays due to a systemwide computer issue."

    A tweet followed two minutes later, saying "We continue to troubleshoot a computer problem, currently causing delays on Metrorail trains. We apologize for the inconvenience."

    Early Sunday morning, Metro confirmed that the system went down again at around 12:30 a.m. and was out for approximately half-an-hour.

    Stay with NBCWashington.com for more on this developing story.