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Red Line Delay Continues

Metro says it will need a second night of work to replace the flawed section of track discovered on Sunday during a routine ultrasound check of the transit system's tracks. So trains continue to move at reduced speed between Medical Center and Friendship Heights.

Metro made temporary repairs on Sunday night, so the track still could be used for weekday service, and the transit authority had hoped to replace the 39-foot track section Monday night, but announced today that the second night would be needed. Meanwhile, trains in that area are moving at 35 mph, rather than the normal 44 mph.

The ultrasound checks on the track system are performed five times a year. Track inspectors also walk the rails twice a week to make safety checks.

The only way to make permanent repairs during the day is to shut down a track and have trains from both directions take turns on the other track, which jams trains and annoys riders. Metro has only a few hours between the time the last trains roll at night and the first ones come through in the morning to perform much of its maintenance work. The tasks spill over into weekends. Metro routinely announces on Thursdays what delays will be coming up for the weekend when stretches of track are closed for various forms of maintenance.

By Robert Thomson  |  October 23, 2007; 12:23 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Well I rode the Metro last night from Metro Center to Bethesda, and there was no slowdown in speed at all between Friendship Heights and Bethesda stations. This was just before the Union Station closing, which, as usual, I understand Metro was remarkably uncommunicative about to those stuck at Friendship Heights.

Posted by: Bethesda | October 23, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

yesterday, at 6pm, dupont circle was a mess. trains were not going towards union station and one train was stuck in the station in the direction of shady grove. not suprisingly, wmata communication system communicated nothing to the stranded riders. it was sad, really sad.

Posted by: ixs | October 23, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Only thing I noticed last night was a crowded train but that could have been caused by an earlier train off-loading.

I don't understand why dropping the speed by 9mph for a short section makes that much of a delay in the system.

Posted by: Rockville | October 23, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Last night I got to Metro Center at around 6:30, with a train waiting in the station, and it took me about 20 minutes just to get to Farragut North. I abandoned Metro there.

Posted by: Tony | October 23, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Last night at 630, we tried to get from Farragut North to Bethesda. Electronic board indicated that Union Station was closed. The train conductor said that we weren't moving toward Shady Grove because of some "emergency situation" at DuPont Circle, but they couldn't tell us what that situation was. We bandoned Metro after waiting in train for 10 minutes, and took a cab. Would have been much cheaper to drive in yesterday.

Metro is a disaster, in maintenance, communication, and reliability.

Posted by: Bethesda | October 23, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I was on the train that was stuck halfway in/halfway out of dupont circle in the direction of shady grove last night at 6 or so. i was in the first car and there was no air and it was overly crowded--meaning it was miserably hot.

but that would been ok if the conductor told us what was going on--instead we stood on the train for at least 20 minutes in the heat with no info. being in the first car, we banged on the conductors window only to learn that he/she was not even there.

finally some folks decided to walk through the doors between cars to get to a car further back that was still in the station where people had pried open the doors to get out onto the dupont platform..of course by the time we figured out to do this, the doors closed and the train started moving again, with no information as to the cause of the delay.

it was miserable with no air and infuriating to have zero information. i've ridden metro for 20 years and it was a top 3 worst experience i have had on a train.

Posted by: stranded in dupont | October 23, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

And while we are talking about last night on Metro--

I was at Union Station. The station was closed from just after 6 pm until 6:45 or so. Many firefighters and Metro folks milling around; firehoses hooked up to standpipes, but no water flowing (and the hoses going down 1st ST NE away from the station). Finally, they opened the gates, and let us in. There was a dead train on the Glenmont side of the tracks. Incessant announcements "trains are single tracking from Rhode Island Ave to Judiciary Square" However NO train appeared on the Shady Grove side; the dead train was finally moved (it made an ugly metal on metal noise). The platform was getting more and more crowded. The next train on the Glenmont side was packed; it was after 7 pm before a Shady Grove train appeared. I saw no single tracking. I saw lots of metro police and staff, but they were chatting amongst themselves and not being of much use to us. All this is nothing new.

Metro is not going to change its ways--why tell the customers anything? Why not stand around in a group, laughing and chatting? Especially when you can look annoyed at anyone who dares to ask a question?

Posted by: gaithersburg | October 23, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday my D6 bus around 6 p.m. was abnormally PACKED with people - the standees were up to the yellow line in front. I had no idea that this was overflow from the the Red Line delays.

However, if you need to get from Metro Center to Union Station quicker than a delayed subway train, the D3/4/6 lines are there.

Posted by: Maritza | October 23, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I work at home so I don't have to fool with Metro all that much. Good luck to you!

Posted by: Karl | October 23, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I hate, Hate, HATE depending on unreliable METRO!!! I live in between Bethesda and Silver Spring, yet no matter which way I take to get to work, they're BOTH frakking slow! If only my motorcycle was fixed and legal :(. Stupid motorcycle. STUPID METRO! D'OH!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bryan2369 | October 24, 2007 12:08 AM | Report abuse

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