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Metro Investigating Train Doors Incident

During this afternoon's online discussion, I got a note from a Metro rider about an very disturbing incident aboard a train entering Rosslyn Station.

"I was in the last car of an 8 car train this morning. As the train pulled into Rosslyn, the last car did not make it into the station and was still inside the tunnel. Nonetheless, the doors were opened to offload passengers at Rosslyn.

"We were left staring at the tunnel walls. Luckily, no one was hurt. The train operator either did not know that this had happened or did not acknowledge it as he proceeded to Foggy Bottom
where a number of people had to get off and take the next train back.

"After last week's article regarding manual operation of doors, how does a train operator know that all of the cars are aligned with the platform? Seems like this may be a (very basic) training issue -- not to mention a pretty serious safety concern."

Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said Metro is aware of the incident, which occurred at 8:26 a.m., and is investigating.

An eight-car train is a tight fit, filling up the entire platform at a Metro station. Making it work takes some practice, but the operator should be in no doubt about whether the entire train is in the station when the doors open.

By Robert Thomson  |  April 21, 2008; 2:43 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Comments

Unreal. When will they learn. FREDTERP

Posted by: FREDTERP | April 21, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

For as much as Metro pays its train operators, they should expect better quality of people.

I mean, what kind of idiot opens the doors before the train has even arrived at the station? Shouldn't this be a basic part of their training?

Posted by: Bob | April 21, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

New marketing slogan: Metro Opens Doors - Right into Tunnel Walls

Posted by: Ad Executive | April 21, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

They are lucky they even opened the doors. Many times the Metro drivers take their time opening the doors, or leave them open for no time at all, making it difficult to board the train. This latest incident doesn't surprise me at all.

Posted by: DB | April 21, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

They are lucky they even opened the doors. Many times the Metro drivers take their time opening the doors, or leave them open for no time at all, making it difficult to board the train. This latest incident doesn't surprise me at all.

Posted by: DB | April 21, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

You're right about us being lucky the doors opened. I was on an Orange Line train not too long ago where the right side doors in my car didn't open. So the doors worked fine at Court House, Rosslyn, and Foggy Bottom, but no one could get on or off my car at Farragut West or McPhearson Sq. I rode to Metro Center and switched back. I complained to Metro and they told me that I was in the wrong for not pressing the emergency intercom and telling the train operator that the doors were broken! I asked them what they would have done if I had pressed it, and they said we would have immediately offloaded the train and taken it out of service! So I probably got to my destination faster by not saying anything...

Posted by: Woodley Park | April 22, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"We're sorry for the inconvenience and 'thank you' for riding Metro..."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 22, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

The incompetence of Metro really is astounding. I'm sure the investigation will take six months to a year, then the proposed fix will take two years to implement (NextBus, anyone? Oh, that will take eighteen months for us to reprogram, thanks for playing!) and by then something else will be wrong with these wonderful railcars. "270,000 moving parts, all built by the lowest bidder..." We can't even make doors work correctly after 30 years of operations? Seriously?

Posted by: Metro & VDOT should marry | April 22, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

About a month ago, I got on the first car of an eight car train at Shady Grove. As I get off at Union Station, sitting near the front of the first car puts me right at the escalator at the end of my trip. I noticed a big hand lettered sign in the cab--"THIS IS AN 8 CAR TRAIN" I was not reassured.

Posted by: gaithersburg | April 22, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Why do these trains even have drivers? A robot could do the job better and cheaper.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 22, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

So they don't know whether an 8 car train is actually in the station or not, but the "drivers" of 4 and 6 car trains will jolt their trains ahead 3 feet at a time just so they can be perfectly centered? These people are beyond stupid.

Posted by: oy | April 22, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

For those comparing the door operation on the DC Metro to the NYC Subway: Be careful what you wish for. From http://www.nycsubway.org/articles/history-nycta1980s.html:

"In the period 1983 through 1985, 110 incidents of subway doors opening while trains were moving were recorded by the TA, and fifteen additional incidents occurred in the first three months of 1986. There were various incidents of subway doors mysteriously sliding open while trains were moving."

Yes, the doors on the NYC subway used to open while the trains were MOVING! And remember that many of the trains that they were using back then are still in operation!

Posted by: stuckman | April 23, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

There would be some justice in people falling out of opening doors. The people who fall out would probably be the ones that shouldn't have tried to cram their selfabsorbedasses onto the train in the first place

Posted by: wow | April 23, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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