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Blue Line train misdirected -- again

4:45 p.m. Update: In an e-mail Taubenkibel said the incident occurred at 10:37 a.m. Friday and Metro workers were on the scene where the rail switches are located when the incident happened.

"Since maintenance personnel were out there, they had control of all of the rail switches and were setting the routes of the trains," he said.

He added that Metro does not believe the incident -- or the one that occurred last week -- was a safety issue. Passengers experienced a nine-minute delay but did not have to change trains, he said.

Taubenkibel added that a 10-year maintenance employee will be sent to drug and alcohol testing, which is standard procedure, "and then most likely reinstructed/retrained on proper routing procedures."

Original post: A Blue Line train was tyson.gifmisdirected onto the Orange Line for the second time in two weeks on Friday morning after a Metro worker set the tracks incorrectly, according to a Metro official.

The train was misrouted onto the Orange Line at Stadium Armory, and had to reverse to where the switches are located and then continue on the Blue Line, according to Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel, who was still gathering details about the incident.

Taubenkibel said there was no danger of a collision, but the incident was reported to the Tri-State Oversight Commission (TOC), which oversees safety at Metro.

The track maintenance worker responsible for misrouting the train will undergo a routine investigation, Taubenkibel said.

Last week a Blue Line train took a wrong turn after a controller manually sent it to New Carrollton instead of Largo, causing confusion and some panic among passengers.

Metro investigated the incident and said a controller 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 last week. "Both the controller and the operator will be retrained."

-- Ann Scott Tyson

By Michael Bolden  | July 9, 2010; 2:54 PM ET
Categories:  Blue Line, Metro  
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With no automation used for more than a year at WTA, all trains driven manually, all trains routed manually... it's surprising there haven't been more incidents like this. Platform overruns. Red signal overuns. Derailments (like February) which are a combination signal overrun AND misrouting. They have the FRA NTSB investigating the automatic systems... but are they looking at the stress of operating an automatic system entirely by hand?

Posted by: Virginiadude1 | July 9, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

The Post has yet to ask or get an answer as to why the switch was on local control in the first place? Why did they have maintainers out there working on it and were not controlling it from downtown? And, on a REAL railroad, if you run through a switch, you aren't retained, you are fired. Says a lot about the Metro mentality.

Posted by: TuscanRed | July 10, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@TuscanRed. Agreed? Why were Metro workers were on the scene where the rail switches are located when the incident happened? This is bogus. And Metro doesn't believe this was a safety issue? Well, when a misdirected train hits another train, then will it be a safety issue? I'm continuing to drive my least if I make a wrong turn, I know who to blame.

Posted by: dezlboy1 | July 11, 2010 1:36 AM | Report abuse

It's time for Metro to be fired.

Posted by: Carole5520 | July 11, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

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