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Blue Line train crosses to wrong track

A Blue Line train took tyson.gifa wrong turn on Tuesday after a controller manually sent it to New Carrollton instead of Largo, causing confusion and some panic among passengers, according to Metro and a witness.

Janine Jackson was on car 2042 headed for Benning Road at about 4:50 pm when suddenly the train stopped abruptly, causing "panic with riders," she wrote in an email.

"I thought we had hit something, and that's why we braked so quickly," she wrote.

She said the train operator then announced that due to a switching error the train was mistakenly headed to New Carrollton, not Largo. The train took the passengers to Minnesota Avenue Station where they unloaded to return to Stadium-Armory Station and catch a train on the Blue Line to Largo.

"Kind of scary trip for passengers," Jackson wrote.

Metro looked into the mishap and said a controller mistakenly misrouted the train at the Stadium-Armory junction. "The controller manually chose New Carrollton, which was a mistake on his part," said Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato. "Both the controller and the operator will be retrained."

--Ann Scott Tyson

By Luke Rosiak  | June 30, 2010; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro  
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"Retraining?" Are you serious? That won't correct incompetence.

Posted by: yell53 | June 30, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

another 20% fare increase will help, right? how about cleaning house and starting to hire people with a brain in their skulls. oh, right, this is DC, the city of marion barry.

Posted by: habari2 | June 30, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

A fare increase that hasn't taken affect would have a hard time impacting much of anything at this point.

Posted by: bflorhodes | June 30, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Retrained? Dismissed is the proper action for these employees.

Posted by: bw1027 | June 30, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I guess we will be paying for another fare increase on top of the one that just occurred ... I'm sure they will call this a "training surcharge" in order to pay for METRO's inept employees to be "retrained." I figure that 100% of the METRO workforce, union and non-union, are in desparate need of "retraining."

Posted by: Viennacommuter1 | June 30, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Why are Metro running trains without air conditioning? For the past several days, on the Orange/Blue lines during the 5:00-6:00pm routes, the trains are like ovens, hot as hell!!!! Of course, they need more money to run a/c, my bad!!!!!!

Posted by: daughterofold | June 30, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Why is the operator being retrained? He had no control over the switch. He was alert enough to notice that the train was going to the wrong track. This was bound to happen when you run the trains in manual mode. In automatic mode the switch is controlled by computers.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | June 30, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Why are such mistakes by [experienced] metro employees tolerated? As written above such mistakes should have one result and that is dismissal of the employee. This was a potentially disastrious mistake that could have again resulted in deaths and injuries. There is something amiss with the Metro system when such a mistake or error results in an employee being retrained; It more and more appears as though the union is controlling the discipline or lack of with employees under their command and this is wrong. There continue to be too many mistakes on both the train and bus routes by employees who evidently are not adequately trained or lack the cognitive skills needed for such employment esp when as noted the fares increase significantly and the breakdowns of equipment continue to occur w/o any hint of better maintenance of all tracks, stations, buses and trains. Where is the leadership?

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | June 30, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

How is this a dangerous situation? so the train went down the wrong track and caused an inconvience to passengers. the train was not going to cause a dangerous situation because the track signals should recognize the train in its block and should prevent a following train from entering. it's just like an extra orange line train happened to be real biggy in terms of safety.

Posted by: sonicforrest | June 30, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

why complain about fares? Metro will raise it anyway. Metro does not care

Posted by: golftrailsucks | June 30, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"retrained" - like the people who put together a train of 10 cars and put it into service?????

Posted by: swissmiss150 | June 30, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

This is exactly why I hate manual operation. Even a very good person can mess up once and a while. When you are dealing whit a train full of passengers those slip-ups are extremely risky...

Posted by: iolaire | June 30, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

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