Work begins to fix Union Station Metro’s broken chiller system

Sweaty riders on the Union Station Metro platform in D.C. should have some relief soon, now that work is beginning to repair the stop’s broken chiller system.

“We needed a permit from Amtrak. We recently got that, so we’re getting on top of that right now,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said.

The chiller systems use pipes to circulate cooled water through the stations. For now, Metro has a few large fans on the platforms to give riders a bit of relief.

Metro previously told WTOP that the repair work at Union Station should take about two weeks from start to finish.

While Union Station’s system only went down recently, the permanent chillers at Dupont Circle and Farragut North have been down for years.

“Hopefully by the end of this month, we’ll get that settled,” Wiefeld said.

Metro had hoped to have the fixes done weeks ago, but crews ran into an unexpected lamppost in the ground along Connecticut Avenue NW.

“Any older city, you know, once you open up the street, you find all kinds of things that you didn’t know were there,” Wiedefeld said.

He cites Baltimore’s Light Rail shutdown due to a sinkhole that sucked in a station platform Wednesday.

The sinkhole near Pratt Street and Howard Street was likely tied to a Monday water main break that disrupted both Light Rail and MARC Camden Line service and contributed to a CSX freight train derailment in a tunnel underground.

The issues have also created problems for car traffic in Baltimore, and closures or light rail disruptions could remain for weeks.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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