Red line riders felt their commutes creep to a stop Tuesday evening as Metro fixed a smoldering rail bolt near Gallery Place-Chinatown.

A Metro spokesman said a rail stud bolt arced and caught fire around 5 p.m., but delays persisted for two more hours while District firefighters and WMATA crews inspected the tracks.

Trains were restricted to one track, causing major delays. Platforms at Gallery Place and Metro Center were choked with riders waiting to board.

“My commute normally takes about 17 minutes and this time it took more than an hour,” said WUSA9 reporter Diane Roberts, who was ensnared in the major delay.

Now the irony: Earlier Tuesday, WMATA tweeted new reliability numbers. It said with older railcars going to the scrap yard, there are fewer delays. Riders took to Twitter, too, admonishing the agency.


Metro cars still shaking DC homes

Metro raises rates, drops some bus routes

Metro gives Union Station a makeover