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5:45 at Gallery Place Metro Station

It's like a regular rush hour, only more civilized. The Red Line trains inbound from Glenmont are about as crowded as they would be at 8:30 on a regluar weekday, but the crowd is a lot happier.

The people around where I was sitting -- and I as sitting the entire way -- were from Oregon, and had used Inauguration Central on our site as their guide, printing out maps and information before they left home. My seat mate planned to go to Metro Center and transfer to the Orange or Blue lines for a ride to Federal Triangle, though I warned him the transfer points are likely to be jammed today. At this hour, he may be fine.

Many other people got off at Union Station to head south toward the Mall for the swearing in ceremony.

Right now, I;m sitting on a pretty wide open platform on the inbound side of the Red Line. Think I'll head downstairs and see if I can get a Green or Yellow Line train to L'Enfant Plaza, which should be very busy.

Train and station announcements have been good, but people don't seem to heed the one that says all the trains are stopping at the head of the platform. So there's a last minute scramble to reach the first car when the train pulls in.The first cars are still relatively uncrowded.

It as easy getting a seat at Silver Spring, where I boarded. Power was out for the traffic signals at Route 29 an Wayne Avenue, a major intersection near the station. But there were plenty of police around and traffic was still light at that point.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 20, 2009; 5:42 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration  
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