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Slowdown on Red Line

Many Red Line riders think the trains are slowing down between Bethesda and Friendship Heights. It's not their imagination.

Metro inspectors have identified a section of track in that area that needs repair. That's not an unusual condition in the aging rail system. The transit authority schedules repairs, and until they can be completed, orders trains to slow down as they pass through the zone as a safety precaution. (There's been a lot of repair work this year on the track bed along the western portion of the Red Line.)

Riders notice these slowdowns, which can continue for many days, but tell me they can't get any information about them from train operators or station managers, and they can't find anything about them on Metro's Web site or through the Metro e-Alerts that they signed up to receive via e-mail.

The transit Web site does list areas where Metro is conducting inspections or maintenance on track circuits. While that work is going on, trains slow down as they pass through the zone. There's one such area now between Federal Triangle and Smithsonian on the Orange and Blue lines.

Metro also lists scheduled delays on rail and bus.

Notifying riders about those work zones was a step toward good communications. Metro should carry that through to include notifications about routine slowdowns that are so noticeable to regular riders.

By Robert Thomson  | November 3, 2010; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Metro, Red Line  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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Next: Delays on the Yellow Line


Dr. G. Your blog is no longer displaying the count of comments for each article. That is, if a blog entry had 3 comments, it used to read, "Comments (3)", but now all blog entries read "Comments" with no count. To someone perusing the blog, it gives the misleading impression that either no one is commenting, or that comments are locked.

Posted by: informedtraveller | November 3, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

This has been going on for about 3 weeks. Is there an update on when they will make repairs? The combination of this slowdown and manual control of the train makes for a pretty unpleasant ride between these 2 stations.

Posted by: JRosen23 | November 3, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Could this also be the case in the Rosslyn tunnel? The first half of the trip from Rosslyn to Foggy Bottom has been at a reduced speed for several months.

Posted by: LouLewis | November 3, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

LouLewis - It's been like that since the summer of 2009. It's terrible in the morning!

Posted by: yell53 | November 3, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

It was slow a bit in 2009 and then sped up again. Now it's slow again and it is annoying. I think I might move to Friendship Heights. But hey - at least they FINALLY fixed the escalators at Bethesda.

Only took from April till October to fix two short escalators! A bit more than half the time it took them to build the Empire State Building.

WMATA for President 2010.

Posted by: EmGu | November 3, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

(I meant 2012. But my point still stands.)

Posted by: EmGu | November 3, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

That is frustrating me as well, informedtraveller. There's no way to see if anyone has commented without clicking "Comments" for every single post. But maybe this all means I'm spending too much time reading Dr. Gridlock. :)

Posted by: DOEJN | November 3, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: DOEJN, we appreciate your spending time with us here on the blog. We enjoy doing the postings, but we also enjoy the comments section where people either add information to what we said, tell us we're full of beans, or take the posting in a different direction.

I follow the comments enough so that I pretty much know how many there were on a particular posting, and the number next to "Comment" helps me figure out when there's more to look at. I don't know why it's not appearing now, but will ask.

Posted by: Dr_Gridlock | November 3, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

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