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Posted at 10:29 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Red Line returns to normal

By Mark Berman
Mark Berman

12:05 P.M. UPDATE: Metro reports no delays on the Red Line.

Is that what you are experiencing? Post a comment below.

11:55 A.M. UPDATE: Metro says the track problem has been resolved but delays continue.

10:20 A.M. UPDATE: Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff says another arcing insulator is outside Bethesda Station. Trains are single-tracking between Medical Center and Friendship Heights.

People streaming into Gridlock Central are reporting commutes of longer than an hour for trips that normally take 20 minutes. How long was your Red Line commute?

9:35 A.M. UPDATE:

The Post's Emilio Garcia-Ruiz reports that a packed Red Line train at Van Ness hasn't moved for several minutes, and the station continues to get more and more crowded.

There are also Orange Line delays due to an earlier train malfunction outside of Stadium-Armory. Delays heading to New Carrollton.

9:30 A.M. UPDATE:

While there was no fire this morning, there is a track issue outside of Dupont Circle that is still causing the single-tracking, according to Metro. Trains are single-tracking between Van Ness and Dupont.

Personnel have arrived on the scene to make the repairs, according to Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. Once they have made the repairs, normal service should resume, but they have no specific timetable on when that will happen.

9:25 A.M. UPDATE:
The Post's Emilio Garcia-Ruiz reports that his inbound Red Line train was off-loaded at Van Ness. There are now about 100 people on the platform, and people can't get onto the trains because they are so crowded.

9:20 A.M. UPDATE:
The Blue Line delays have been cleared, but massive delays remain on the Red Line.

9:10 A.M. UPDATE:
There is no smoke and no fire, D.C. Fire just tweeted. Metro tweeted that it is an "arcing insulator," and crews are on the scene now to deal with it.

9 A.M. UPDATE:
The delays remain in both directions on the Red Line. There's a fire reported in the tunnel between the Woodley Park and Dupont Circle stations, according to D.C. Fire and EMS.

The delays also remain in both directions on the Blue Line.

8:46 A.M. UPDATE:
There are also delays on the Red Line now. Trains are sharing the same track between Dupont Circle and Van Ness because of a track problem outside of Dupont Circle, resulting in delays in both directions.

And yes, the delays on the Blue Line still remain.

7:50 A.M. UPDATE:
The switch malfunction at Largo Town Center has been resolved, but Blue Line delays remain in both directions.

7:25 A.M. UPDATE:
Blue Line delays relating to a sick customer have cleared up, according to Metro. The delays remain due to the switch malfunction at Largo.

ORIGINAL POST:
There are delays in both directions on the Blue Line due to a switch malfunction at Largo Town Center.

People streaming into Gridlock Central are reporting commutes of longer than an hour. How long was your Red Line commute?

By Mark Berman  | January 26, 2011; 10:29 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Comments

The red line has been struggling mightily the past several days. Last night's commute in the Glenmont direction was a nightmare with PACKED platforms and train after train filled to capacity, and almost every day this week there have been multiple cases of single tracking, offboarded cars, long delays, smoke in stations/tunnels. The system seems utterly overwhelmed - don't know how it continue to operate like this. The red line actually seems kind of dangerous to ride...

Posted by: ermiwe | January 26, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Things like this have been happening an awful lot lately.

Mismanagement?

Posted by: Braticuspunk | January 26, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I got on the red line at Takoma at 8:50am and was off-loaded at Farragut North shortly before 10:00. That's 65+ minutes for what should be a 20 minute trip. At each station, we were told we were being held "until further notice" due to the track problem at Dupont, and then, beginning at Gallery Place, that the train would terminate at Farragut. I can't even imagine what this afternoon's commute will be like.

Posted by: 920erie | January 26, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse


I take Van Ness to Dupont for work

Took me close to an hour to get home yesterday, and this morning's commute was hell on earth.

Metro's management should be rounded up, taken out into a field next to a pit, so they're never seen again.

Posted by: kenk33 | January 26, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

It's time to send in the Army.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 26, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

It took me 95 minutes to get between Silver Spring and Farragut North this morning. I haven't made it on time to work in over a week thanks to the Red Line.

Posted by: jbartoszek | January 26, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

What is an arcing insulator?

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | January 26, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I live in Cleveland Park and was a few minutes late leaving for work (Dupont Circle) this morning, so I got to the metro right after the problem started. When they closed our station due to flooding last year it took me forever to get to work, so this time I just turned around and went back home and have been doing work on my home computer. I'm gong to try again soon, even though metro is still single tracking. Hopefully I can at least get a taxi now!

I was surprised at how long it took WashPost to report the problem this morning. I was not surprised, however, at how long it took metro to report it. I feel like metro's senior leadership are a disgrace and not worthy of their tax payer funded salaries.

Posted by: kc20008 | January 26, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I thought about taking the Red line to work today (for the first time in close to 2 years) because I thought it would be easier than having to drive home during the snow. Boy, am I glad I didn't. I'll just sneak out early, before it snows.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 26, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

My first clue should have been when I got to the Dupont platform and saw MASSES of people. My second clue should have been when I saw the electronic board wasn't reporting a time for any "next trains." But by that time I was packed in with a scrum of people and I figured sooner or later things would straighten out. Then, after I had been in there for about 30 mins. I finally heard an announcement of "single-tracking" but by then I was packed in so tightly I couldn't turn around to exit the station. I ended up waiting for more than 2 hours on the platform, and then was finally able to make my way upstairs to exit the system, and I walked from Dupont to Farr. West.

When they have issues as severe as this morning, they should post signs above-ground so that the situation down-below doesn't become even more trecherous. With the slickness and the overcrowded platform, we are lucky no one fell or got hurt just waiting for a train.

Pitiful lack of communication and pitiful lack of crowd control.

Posted by: NW_Washington | January 26, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

My son's commute this morning from Wheaton to Farragut North took about 1 1/2 hours (9:00-10:30).

Since it was imperative that I arrive on time today, I'm glad that I rode the Red Line before all of the problems began.

Posted by: sburban | January 26, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Metro really needs to install a third track. The need for redundancy is painfully obvious!

Posted by: ahowl7mx | January 26, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

It took me 50 minutes to get from White Flint station to Bethesda and as we were in the tunnel our operator advised us there was a small fire in front of our train and said we needed to make room for other passengers (I didn't understand why she'd say that), after 15 more minutes, we finally turned around and went back one station and we were off loaded and waited for another train. The train didn't stop at Cleveland Park and Woodley park zoo. Finally an hour later I arrived at McPherson square. So a 30-40 minute commute took over 2 hours.

Posted by: aPetiteDiva | January 26, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

It took me two and a half hours to get from Twinbrook to Crystal City. At first, the train stopped and held for several minutes at every stop. Once we passed Bethesda, the driver announced that there was a fire ahead of us and to clear the middle of the train. Then she came sprinting through the train smelling of smoke. The smoke got stronger and people got scared. She moved the train back to Bethesda and told us to get off the train right away. Then we were told to wait on the other side for a train going downtown. That train was of course packed and it slowly moved downtown. One of the worst commutes in my 15 years of riding.

Posted by: dc25 | January 26, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

It took me 50 minutes to get from White Flint station to Bethesda and as we were in the tunnel our operator advised us there was a small fire in front of our train and said we needed to make room for other passengers (I didn't understand why she'd say that), after 15 more minutes, we finally turned around and went back one station and we were off loaded and waited for another train. The train didn't stop at Cleveland Park and Woodley park zoo. Finally an hour later I arrived at McPherson square. So a 30-40 minute commute took over 2 hours.

Posted by: aPetiteDiva | January 26, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The Chief of MetroRail Operations is still employed, why?

Posted by: ceebee2 | January 26, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Employed? The guy just got promoted to permanent employee!

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | January 26, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The red line is always doing just fine when I'm sitting in my office at work. I'm sure it will be back to its insane version of "normal" during rush hour on my way back to Takoma, single-tracking its way through smoke-filled stations along sparking, broken tracks and being offloaded every other stop while operators inanely repeat again and again that "there is another train directly behind this one" or shout at everyone for allegedly blocking doors, which, naturally, is how I and 3.4 million others in the region apparently earn our livings.

Posted by: ermiwe | January 26, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Hmm...well my commute this morning was very smooth. Board a Red Line train at Glenmont around 8:50 and arrived at Silver Spring 10 or so minutes later. No slow down or stop or go.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | January 26, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I got to Friendship Heights around 7:10 to find a packed train, so I naturally decided to wait for what I assumed to be 2 minutes (it was rush hour after all) for the next train. Ten minutes later a train showed up. Meanwhile, three trains came on the other side going towards Bethesda. But towards the city - ten minutes between trains? Then I get to Chinatown to transfer and two green line trains come before one yellow line train. Haven't they wised up that a lot of people ride the yellow line yet? This was all BEFORE a fire and progressive delays on the blue line. What is going on Metro??? Bring back the longer trains - we've noticed the basic elimination of 8 car trains. It's crowded. We pay a lot of money. I pay 8 dollars a day to commute to and from Shirlington. It is quickly becoming appealing to own a car. Suffice to say, you owe me.

Posted by: ct8977a | January 26, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Walked into Dupont around 9:15 am trying to head downtown. Of course there is no notification of a problem until AFTER you pay. Here's a suggestion: how about you tell me everything is jacked up BEFORE I go through the turnstiles. Or at least let me walk back out of the station without charging me.

So I waited about 30 minutes on the platform because I'm an idiot hoping metro will actually solve the problem. I never learn. The first train heading downtown came by at full speed through the station without stopping (without any notice to those crowded to the very edge on the platform). The train was full of passengers. Sure hope none of them wanted to get off at Dupont! When the next train arrived, operator said "Doors Closing" before people had even exited the train and barely left the doors open long enough for any new people to get on, so the train pulled out only 50% full, leaving hundreds on the platform. I got lucky and made it on. Total trip of 4 stops (Dupont to Judiciary Square) took a little over 45 minutes. It usually takes 7 minutes. Unreal.

I hate metro. Hate. I'm not an angry person and I pride myself on letting things go without getting fired up, but metro makes third world governments look like models of efficiency. Haiti could do it better than metro. I've never had such a strong hatred of an inanimate object. I've taken to biking when the weather is even remotely decent. The less money I can give to metro, the better.

Posted by: mtwelch41 | January 26, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@BrokenClipboard--

Sarles was GM of Metro, which includes MetroRail Operations and Bus Operations (among other Divisions). The Chief of MetroRail Operations (whose name escapes me) works for Sarles and has proven his incompetence numerous times over the past 2 or 3 years.

Posted by: ceebee2 | January 26, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@BrokenClipboard--

Sarles was GM of Metro, which includes MetroRail Operations and Bus Operations (among other Divisions). The Chief of MetroRail Operations (whose name escapes me) works for Sarles and has proven his incompetence numerous times over the past 2 or 3 years.

Posted by: ceebee2 | January 26, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double post--satellite hiccup.

Posted by: ceebee2 | January 26, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

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