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Get There: June 21, 2009 - June 27, 2009

Beautiful Day For a Wilson Bridge Bike Ride

Trail on bridge edge has three observation areas, with benches and telescopes. (Thomson) The new Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail is a work in progress, but put the emphasis on the progress. I got my first chance to bike across the bridge today and had a glorious time. The worst part was the return trip from the bridge up the long slope to Oxon Hill Road, where I felt much closer to God, but the rest of the ride was a breeze. In fact, there was a very good breeze on the bridge. That and the warmth of the sun make for a perfect passage over the mile-long path above the Potomac. Riders, walkers share 12-foot trail. (Thomson) To reach the trail, I drove south on Interstate 295, then got lost wandering around National Harbor before I found Oxon Hill Manor on Oxon Hill Road. No more than a dozen...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 27, 2009; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Biking , Safety , Wilson Bridge  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Wilson Bridge Trail, cycling, walking  
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All Red Line Stations Now Open

The line is operating at all stations from Glenmont to Shady Grove. Trains are scheduled to run every 12 minutes. That means Red Line service is pretty much back to normal for the first time since Monday's train wreck between Takoma and Fort Totten, but the safety restrictions imposed since then remain in effect. The speed limit for trains along the Red Line is 35 mph. They move even more slowly through the zone where the crash occurred. Trains throughout the rail system are under the control of the operators rather than the automatic train control system, and that can make service slower than normal. Also, the trains continue to pull up to the front of the platform, no matter how long the trains are. Passengers should be aware of that when deciding where to stand and wait on the platforms. Meanwhile, weekend track maintenance is slowing trains on serveral...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 27, 2009; 8:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail delays, Red Line crash  
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Red Line Open, But Slow This Afternoon

All the stations are open for the afternoon and evening rush, but the trains are sharing a single track between Fort Totten and Takoma to get around the track section where the wreck occurred on Monday. To riders, the trains will seem few and far between. Between 3:50 and 4:30 p.m., the length of time it took me to ride between Silver Spring and Farragut North, I noticed that the middle cars of the eight-car trains were very full. The end cars of the eights were not at all crowded till they reached stations where people tend to stand at the ends of the platforms. (For example, if that's where the elevators reach the platform, that's where they stand.) If it's a six car train, people still aren't moving forward far enough to wait, because the trains are stopping at the fronts of the platforms. There are announcements to that...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 26, 2009; 4:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, Red Line crash, delays  
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The Weekend and Beyond

Here's what you should anticipate traveling around this weekend and next week. Metro Weekend Delays Red Line: Because of the train wreck on Monday, Red Line track maintenance originally scheduled between Dupont Circle and Van Ness and between Silver Spring and Forest Glen has been cancelled. But stay tuned to find out the status of the line between Silver Spring and Fort Totten. [8:45 a.m. Saturday: All Red Line stations are open; line clear from Glenmont to Shady Grove.] Blue and Orange: Riders between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory should add at least a half hour to their regular travel times from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Green Line: Riders between the Fort Totten and Prince George's Plaza should add half an hour to normal travel times from 10 o'clock tonight (Friday) to 11:59 p.m. Saturday. Riders Prince George's Plaza and College Park also should add half an...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 26, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Washington area travel advice, traffic, transit  
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Move Up the Platform To Await Metro Trains

As a safety precaution unrelated to Monday's fatal crash on the Red Line, the transit authority decided to have all its trains, no matter how long, pull to the front of the platform. I applaud this. Too often, the operators up front would forget their trains were eight cars long, rather than six. They would stop at the six-car marker on the platform, and open the doors on the rear car in a tunnel. By shear good fortune, no passengers in a crowded rush-hour car were spit out onto the tracks. But Metro needs to keep announcing this change. The letter below is from a man who has been riding the Red Line for 24 years; for the past 11, commuting between Shady Grove and Union Station. Dear Dr Gridlock: Metro's inadequate communication continues. All Red Line trains, regardless of whether they are six or eight cars long, are now...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 26, 2009; 7:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Metro , Safety  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail, Red Line crash, eight-car trains  
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Traffic Alert: Accident Cleared on Inner Loop in Alexandria

An earlier accident that was blocking the right lane on the Inner Loop of the Beltway near the Robinson Terminal in Alexandria has been cleared...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 26, 2009; 7:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Red Line Service Still Affected By Investigation

Metro's Red Line trains will again share a single track in both directions during the morning and evening rush periods in the area around Monday's deadly crash. Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and after 10 p.m., the affected area will be closed altogether so the probe of the crash can continue. The single tracking will occur between the Fort Totten and Takoma stations, Metro officials said. During off-peak hours, trains will not travel between Fort Totten and Silver Spring. Throughout the Red Line, trains will be restricted to a maximum speed of 35 mph while more safety tests are conducted. Trains passing through the accident zone will pass through at significantly slower speed, especially between 8 and 10 p.m., officials said. Metrobus service has been increased, and free Metrobus shuttles will be available throughout the day, to help move customers between the Silver Spring, Takoma and Fort Totten stations....

By Washington Post Editor  |  June 26, 2009; 5:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Commuting , Metro , Safety , transit  
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Cracked Red, Green Line Rails Fixed, Metro Reports

The cracked rails that led to single-tracking and delays on the Red and Green Lines today have been fixed, according to Metro. A cracked rail near the Medical Center station in the direction of Glenmont led to single-tracking between the Grosvenor-Strathmore and Friendship Heights stations. Another near the Green Line's West Hyattsville station in the direction of Greenbelt had trains sharing a single track between the Fort Totten and Prince George's Plaza stations. This post has been updated since it was first published. -- David P. Marino-Nachison...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 25, 2009; 7:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Metro  
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New Delays on Green Line

A cracked rail discovered at 12:58 p.m. near the West Hyattsville Metrorail station is causing mid-day delays on the Green Line, Metro says. While Metro track crews make repairs, Green Line trains are sharing a single track between the Fort Totten and Prince George's Plaza Metrorail stations. Riders may experience delays up to 20 minutes. Metro expects to complete the repair by later afternoon, however, delays may continue into the afternoon rush hour period. The later it goes, the more likely it is to be an issue for people trying to reach the baseball game by taking the Green Line to Navy Yard Station near the Anacostia waterfront. No matter what, you should leave earlier than normal if you're going to the 7:05 p.m. game. At midday, downtown trains are crowded. The Red Line trains are moving at a reduced speed and it's a pretty long wait between trains. A...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 25, 2009; 1:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Metro  
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Reactions as Red Line Reopens

The Red Line reopened briefly this morning for the first time since Monday's crash, then closed temporarily to allow for track work and investigation. As trains passed the site of the crash this morning, some passengers paused to reflect -- and shared their their thoughts online. Post reader Reader andycarvin: I took the Red Line from Silver Spring into DC this morning. I boarded the train around 7:45 and arrived at Gallery Place at 8:35. The train made a number of "schedule adjustments" along the way, sometimes stopping at stations for 2-5 minutes. When we were actually moving, we went at a moderate pace, except for the single track between Takoma and Ft. Totten. It was very eerie crossing the location of the crash. Though their wasn't really anything to see along the tracks, a number of the passengers turned their heads to stare at the length of the track,...

By Sarah Mimms  |  June 25, 2009; 11:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Transit Travel Tips For Today

[1:45 p.m. update: Metro says there are delays in both directions now on the Green Line. Trains are sharing the same track between Fort Totten and Prince George's Plaza following a report a cracked rail outside West Hyattsville Station.] The Red Line section that was open for the morning rush shut again as of 10 a.m. But the service from Silver Spring to Fort Totten will reopen from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Based on my experience this morning, that will be the best option for transit travel, better than taking the still-operating shuttle buses between those stations. When the trains are running in the zone where the crash occurred on Monday, they are moving slowly. In part, that's because they must cross at a switch point, but all trains on the Red Line have a speed limit of 35 mph as a precaution following the crash. While ridership on...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 25, 2009; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion , Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, Metrorail, Red Line crash, delays  
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Commuter Cheer: Benning Road Gets Smoother

Seems like quite a while since I've been able to tell you about anything besides train wrecks and delays, but the District Department of Transportation has put out a report on good progress for long suffering drivers on Benning Road NE. Four of the six lanes have been paved and now are open to traffic. Two in each direction are open between 16th Street NE and Oklahoma Avenue. This means the paving was completed about eight weeks ahead of the Aug. 15 deadline set In April by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Gabe Klein, director of the District Department of Transportation, when they went over to Benning in April and announced that crews would work double shifts to get the road reconstruction project back on track. The rest of the Benning Road work, including the repaving of the two center lanes and installation of streetcar tracks, is still on schedule...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 25, 2009; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Construction , Driving  | Tags: Benning Road, DDOT, Dr. Gridlock  
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Traffic Alert: Rt. 1 in College Park Closed Near University Blvd.

Rt. 1 in College Park is closed in both directions between University Blvd. and Metzerott Rd. as police investigate a an accident involving a car and a motorcycle. NBC 4 is reporting one person was killed in the crash. Southbound Rt. 1 traffic must go west onto University Blvd, while northbound traffic must turn onto Tecumsah St. From Tecumsah St., drivers can access Greenbelt Rd. or Rhode Island Ave. Police have given no indication when Rt. 1 will reopen....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 25, 2009; 6:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Advisories  
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Closed Red Line Stations Reopen, Partially

The entire Red Line is open this morning for the first time since Monday's deadly crash. But riders should still expect siginificant delays. Trains will share a single track between some stations during the rush hours, and those stations will close altogether between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and after 10 p.m., so the investigation can continue. Metro officials wanted commuters to be able to stay on the trains between Silver Spring and Fort Totten during the morning and evening rush hours. But the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the collision, said no trains may travel on the track where the accident occurred Monday evening. As a result, trains will share a single track from Fort Totten to Takoma between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., and again from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. At all other times, trains will not run between Fort Totten and Silver Spring....

By Washington Post Editor  |  June 25, 2009; 5:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Metro , Safety , transit  
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Traffic Alert: I-66 and I-395 Heavy Into DC

Post reporter Mark Berman points out that inbound traffic is heavy on the Roosevelt and 14th Street Bridges. He says it looks like people are heading to the game at Nationals Park and to a concert at Verizon Center downtown....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 24, 2009; 6:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  14th street bridge , Advisories  
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Red Line Still Disrupted; Expect Delays

It gets confusing, so I thought I'd better post a status report: Nothing has changed in the past few hours. The Red Line trains are not operating between Silver Spring and Fort Totten. That will continue tonight, and Metro has not announced any change of plans for Thursday. The free Metrobus shuttles are still available to take riders between Fort Totten, Takoma and Silver Spring. At Fort Totten and Takoma, you can find them in the Metro stations. At Silver Spring, they're on Dixon Avenue. There's also a Metrobus shuttle between Silver Spring and Georgia Avenue/Petworth Station. It started today and I sure sounds like a good idea, but I haven't tested it. The downside of the other shuttle is that it has to use lots of secondary streets to get between the stations. My experience was that it took about 40 minutes to get between Silver Spring and Fort...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 24, 2009; 5:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Metro Union Leader Urges Safety Precautions

Jackie Jeter, head of the transit union that includes Metro train operators, called on the transit authority to "address our concerns about potential hazards of the Series 1000 trains. We are asking that those tried be bellied, or placed in the center .. not at the front or rear" of the trains. The 1000 Series cars made up the six-car train that crashed into the other Red Line train on Monday afternoon, killing nine. Riders commenting on the blog today were asking Metro to do the same thing, out of concern for their safety. Jeter also asked "that our operators be allowed to operate trains in manual mode, to assure that they can stop trains in sight of other vehicles or unsafe conditions, from now until all safety issues have been resolved." Since the crash, which occurred while trains were operating under the automatic control system, Metro has operated trains...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 24, 2009; 3:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Metro , Safety , transit  | Tags: Metrobus, Metrorail, Red Line crash  
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Commuter Alert Update: 1-95N Reopened

UPDATE: 1-95 N has been reopened. Expect delays due to 10-mile backup. Fairfax traffic authorities have shut down I-95 Northbound at Lorton, exit 165, due to an accident. According to the report, all lanes are closed for an undetermined amount of time. We will continue to update this post with the condition of the accident. If you have any information, feel free to comment or e-mail us....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  June 24, 2009; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Commuting , Congestion  
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How Not to Commute Today

These are some suggestions about what NOT to do. I've collected them from my own experiences and from yours. Avoid the shuttle buses. The system is well organized and it's running far, far better than I had expected. The bus bridges are usually a nightmare during a Metrorail emergency. The reason I suggest avoiding them is just that you probably can find a faster alternative. The shuttle between Silver Spring and Fort Totten has to travel along many local streets, make lots of turns and halt at lots of red lights and stop signs. Avoid the S4 on 16th Street. I've tried this from downtown to Silver Spring two evenings in a row and it's been even more crowded than usual. Lots of passengers waiting downtown on 16th Street for buses that already are jammed by the time they get there. I think it might be more productive to wait...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 24, 2009; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
 
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Some Metro Riders Avoid Front, Rear Cars

Metro workers and commuters say there is a noticeable emptiness this morning in the front and rear cars of some trains, a possible reaction to the news that the people killed and badly injured in Monday's Red Line crash had been sitting in those parts of the train. A Post reporter, who took the Red Line from Union Station to Farragut North this morning, said that the train was only about two-thirds full. The front car was almost completely empty, while the last car was only about one-third to half-full. Dozens of Twitter users posted that they too would be avoiding the first and last metro cars at least during today's commute, following Monday's crash: seemingly: "I'm scared to sit in the first/last car of Metro now... Even if it's right by the escalator." dancefit27: "Will park and then take Metro to The National Gallery of Art tomorrow morning. We'll...

By Washington Post Editor  |  June 24, 2009; 10:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  Metro , Safety , transit  
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Metro Shouldn't Be Railroaded on 1000 Series Cars

GM John Catoe, in dark suit, left, answers reporters' questions after Tuesday's board meeting. I've never seen so much press at a Metro board. (Thomson) Somehow, the train wreck investigation is turning into a capital improvement project. An NTSB official on Tuesday reminded people that the safety board has recommended retirement of the 1000 Series rail cars, the oldest in the Metro fleet and the ones that made up the six-car train that struck the other on Monday. After that, a lot of the public discussion focused on whether Metro should have replaced them by now. Do you remember when the big water main broke in Potomac in December, and it became an argument about America's crumbling infrastructure? The nation's infrastructure may indeed be crumbling, but as Post staff writer Katherine Shaver wrote in May, the pipe broke because it was incorrectly installed, according to a consultant's analysis. Facts...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 24, 2009; 10:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Metro , Safety  | Tags: Metrobus, Metrorail, Red Line crash, WMATA  
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MARC Back, More Buses, But Red Line Still Slow

updated 5:46 a.m. and 9:38 a.m. Wednesday Metro personnel direct commuters to the shuttles in Silver Spring on Tuesday. (Thomson) Red Line trains are now running from Shady Grove all the way to Fort Totten. Coming from the other direction, however, trains can run only from Glenmont to Silver Spring, meaning that there is still a bottleneck for the huge influx of travelers entering the Red Line from the East. The Takoma Metrorail station remains closed to Red Line traffic. Platforms and trains are packed all along the Red Line, travelers report, as trains continue to move more slowly than usual. The Green and Yellow lines are operating normal service through Fort Totten Metrorail station. For other commuting information, including the shuttle bus service Metro is offering around the affected area, see below. 10:40 p.m. Tuesday Transit commuters should find Wednesday's trip easier than today's, as Metro and MARC add...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 24, 2009; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: MARC, Metrobus, Metrorail, Red Line crash, delays  
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Identities of Victims Released

The names of seven of the nine victims have been tracked down. We'll post the rest, as well as details, as we get them. Train Operator Jeanice McMillan, 42, of Springfield, Passengers Major General David F. Wherley Jr., 62, former commanding general, Joint Force Headquarters, District of Columbia National Guard His wife Ann Wherley, 62, a mortgage banker LaVonda "Nikki" King, 23, a District resident who was planning to open a beauty kiosk Dennis Hawkins, 64, an educator from the District Veronica DuBose, 29, a nursing student Cameron Williams, 37, of Washington Mary "Mandy" Doolittle, 59, who worked at the American Nurse's Assocation Ana Fernandez, 40, of Hyattsville Read more about the victims here. If you knew any of these individuals, please send us an e-mail....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  June 23, 2009; 6:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Metro , transit  
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Live-Blogging Fenty's Train Crash News Conference

We'll be providing live coverage of the news conference, which is scheduled to start at 5 p.m., in this post. You also can watch the press conference live on washingtonpost.com. 6:13 p.m.: The rescue squad members spell their names for the press, and that's the end of the news conference. 6:11 p.m.: "Everybody knew what their job was and everything just fell into place," squad member Nicole Norris says. 6:10 p.m.: Another initial concern was possible fire suppression, another rescue squad member says. Once it was clear that wasn't an issue, triaging and evacuation became the order of the day. 6:09 p.m.: Also immediately requested considerable backup, related that the accident was not at the station but between them. Had to haul heavy cutting equipment down the tracks -- at least 150 yards -- from the nearest available entrance. 6:08 p.m.: "We really keyed on the worst-entrapped people on the...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  June 23, 2009; 6:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Metro , transit  
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The Red Line on the Ride Home

At Metro's Fort Totten stop, the shuttle taking commuters to Silver Spring was running smoothly when the afternoon rush began. Metro employees reported no lines or crowds at 5 p.m. James White, 30, of Alexandria works in downtown Washington but got off the Metro for a medical appointment. The closure of the Brookland Station doubled the length of his walk. "It's a hot day out, and to have to hoof it any further than normal -- it resulted in a sweaty walk," said White, a lawyer, as he held his suit jacket in his hands. The crowds on Metro Center's upper platform at 4:30 p.m. looked like those from any other day; on the lower level, throngs waited for a Green Line train to take them to tonight's baseball game -- many wearing shirts and hats showing their support for the visiting Boston Red Sox. At Farragut North about 4:15...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Read About Victims, Leave Testimonials

We've posted a page honoring the vitcims of the train crash. Some information is still spotty; if you have any, please send it to tellus@washingtonpost.com...

By Washington Post staff  |  June 23, 2009; 5:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Metro GM Describes Train Safety Steps

Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr., looking like he had aged a few years overnight, told the biggest crowd of reporters I've ever seen at a Metro board meeting that these safety precautions are in effect: Trains are being operated manually, rather than automatically. They are operating at reduced speeds. And all trains, no matter how long, are supposed to pull to the front of the platform, to avoid any chance that the rear car doors will open in a tunnel because the operator forgot how long the train was. But he also said those moves don't reflect any conclusions -- not even inclinations -- about what caused the Red Line train crash Monday. Catoe said he would not speculate on a cause. He went on to say that there was no indication of signal failure or of operator error. He had heard speculation about whether the operator, who...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 23, 2009; 5:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Catoe, Metrorail accident, Red Line crash  
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So Far, So Good on Afternoon Commute

Transit riders should be finding that their commute home tonight is pretty much like their commute in was this morning. That's certainly a big improvement from yesterday. Me, I think I'll walk over to Mount Vernon Square, pick up the Green Line north to Fort Totten and board a shuttle bus back to Silver Spring, where I parked my car this morning when I thought I'd be watching rush hour chaos. It didn't turn out that way. The shuttle buses were well-organized on Dixon Avenue, the station parking garages were not crowded and the buses were not obstacles to street traffic -- at least no more than usual while the Sliver Spring Station is under reconstruction. I don't see any point in taking the Red Line this afternoon to Rhode Island Avenue and getting on the free shuttle bus there, since staff writer Mark Berman just reported that the buses...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 23, 2009; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Commuting  | Tags: Metrobus delays, Metrorail, Red Line crash  
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Metro System to Provide Financial Assistance

Metro's Board of Directors voted today to provide immediate hardship financial assistance to the survivors and families of those whose loved ones died yesterday in the crash of two Red Line trains between the Fort Totten and Takoma Metrorail stations. The Board authorized Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. to establish an emergency hardship relief fund of $250,000 from a reserve fund to provide financial relief for victims of the crash to assist them with their medical, funeral and other immediate expenses. As of Tuesday afternoon, nine people were confirmed to have died in the accident. -- Lena H. Sun...

By Washington Post staff  |  June 23, 2009; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Video: Friends of Dead Metro Operator Grieve, Reflect

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Regular Schedule for MARC's Brunswick Line Tomorrow

MARC's Brunswick Line trains are scheduled to return to full service tomorrow, although MARC says to expect delays. The Penn Line's 4:50 departure from Union Station, meantime, won't take place today because the train used for that route usually runs on the Brunswick Line, which is closed today. Check MARC's train emergency update page for the latest news on both of these items....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Metro Board Chairman Defends Authority's Efforts

Metro Board Chairman Jim Graham said the transit authority has been working aggressively to replace the 1000 series rail cars, the type that made up the train that struck another train yesterday. He said Metro identified the need to replace those cars and has been "relentless" in seeking funding. Rail cars cost about $3 million each, he said. "We need about a billion dollars to replace them," he said of the 1000 series fleet, the oldest in the transit system. In the meantime, Metro has been taking "all reasonable steps" to keep the cars in good working condition. The Metro board approved a resolution to direct the general manager to establish a $250,000 fund to provide immediate relief to victims of the crash and their families, and directed the general manager to set criteria for determining those expenses. Graham said this is strictly to deal with immediate needs....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 23, 2009; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Metrobus delays, Metrorail, Red Line crash  
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New Hampshire Ave. Bridge Open in Both Directions

The New Hampshire Avenue bridge is open in both directions, according to the District's Department of Transportation. Two lanes are open heading north; one is open heading south. A portion of the bridge is being held out for emergency crews....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Union Head: Some Metro Operators 'Afraid' After Crash

Some Metro operators fear for their safety after yesterday's crash, said Lynn Jeter, president of union that represents Metro operators, at a news conference outside Metro headquarters today. "Some of them are afraid," said Jeter, who heads Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689. Union members are still trying to figure out how the crash that took the lives of nine -- including Metro operator Jeanice McMillan, 42, of Springfield -- occurred, Jeter said. "What causes us concern the most is that this was not supposed to happen," Jeter said. "Why didn't the safety mechanism kick in?" Jeter said she did not want to "lay blame for the sake of blaming. It would be premature for anyone to try to say what happened." Metro workers at the news conference said they will miss McMillan's smile. "She brought a light into the division," said Ayesha Thomas, who worked with McMillan for six months....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Norton Wants July Crash Hearing

U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) plans a July hearing on yesterday's Metro crash, she said today in a statement. Norton was briefed on the crash this morning by Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. and National Transportation Safety Board member Debbie Hersman. "What was striking about my conversations with these two top officials was their agreement that the most seriously damaged car, the striking car, was part of the '1000 series' that had received an NTSB 'urgent safety recommendation' for phase-out or retrofitting, according to Ms. Hersman, and that Metro had ranked the placement of this series as its number one priority, according to Mr. Catoe," said Norton's statement. She concluded the statement with a call for more Metro funding. "The time to act is overdue," Norton said. "Our work to authorize $1.5 billion for Metro came after compelling testimony that the maintenance problems of the system have...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Metro Board Convenes on Crash

"i still do believe that Metro is a safe system," General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. told the Metro board and the public this afternoon. He pledged to keep the public informed as the investigation developed. Board Chairman Jim Graham and the rest of the board members then promptly moved into an executive session to discuss "safety and security matters." He told the scores of reporters gathered for the meeting that the board would likely take some action this afternoon when it reconvened in public....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 23, 2009; 2:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Metrobus, Metrorail, Red Line crash  
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At Metro Headquarters, a Somber Service

Area clergy including Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl led a vigil early this afternoon outside Metro's downtown headquarters at the Jackson Graham Building. "A tragedy of this magnitude touched each one of us," said Wuerl, who led the crowd in a prayer. A woman read Psalm 23 from the podium. ("The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want...") A black cloth covered the Metro symbol outside the building. "My heart and soul goes out to those who lost their lives in this tragic accident," said Metro General Manager John Catoe. "I especially want to pause for a moment to remember one of our own. We need to pull together to get through this." One of the known dead was Metro operator Jeanice McMillan, 42, of Springfield. Kim Dudley, an administrative assistant with Metro, cried quietly outside company headquarters. Around her, dozens stood quietly, heads bowed, in the blazing noonday sun....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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2 p.m. Live Chat: How Trauma Center Responded

At least 76 people involved in the Metro Red Line crash were taken to area hospitals last night for treatment of injuries that ranged from minor to critical. Most went to Washington Adventist Hospital, Washington Hospital Center and Howard University Hospital, officials said. Janis Orlowski, M.D., chief medical officer at Washington Hospital Center, will be online Tuesday, June 23, at 2 p.m. ET to discuss how a major trauma center prepared for a mass casualty incident, first responders and other medical technicians and the types of injuries seen in this type of incident. You can ask questions now or tune in live at 2 p.m....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 1:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Metro Crash: Send Us News, Pictures, More

If you were involved in yesterday's Metro crash, we'd like to talk to you. Please e-mail us with contact information; we hope your information will help us further reconstruct the crash. You can also submit photos directy to this gallery of user images....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 12:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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D.C. Fire Chief: Firefighters Expected a 'Small Incident'

Firefighters on their way to the Metro crash site yesterday they were unaware that there was a horrific fatal collision and thought they were responding to a "small incident," D.C. Fire Chief Dennis L. Rubin told The Post's Allison Klein. They initially were dispatched to the two Metro stations -- Takoma Park and Ft. Totten -- before they located the mile marker of the crash. But responders got to the scene within six minutes, Rubin said, and "performed in an exceptional way." "The instant we laid eyes on it, this was declared a major operation," Rubin said. A report from the Washington Times said: Fire officials stated bluntly Monday night that Metro's original description of the accident understated its magnitude, and it was only when the first rescuers arrived at the scene that the sort of help needed was finally summoned. "A little after five o'clock we responded to what...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
 
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D.C. Plans to Reopen New Hampshire Ave. for Outbound Rush Hour Traffic

At least two lanes of New Hampshire Ave. between Eastern Ave. and N. Capitol St. are expected to be open for outbound traffic during tonight's rush hour, according to The District Department of Transportation. One lane was open for inbound traffic this mroning; at 2 p.m., DDOT plans to reverse that lane and open another. Southbound New Hampshire is expected to be closed until 7 p.m. DDOT says its plans may change and still recommends alternate routes, including: Piney Branch Road Missouri Avenue New York Avenue Rhode Island Avenue Bladensburg Road Riggs Road Michigan Avenue Georgia Avenue 16th Street I-295...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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A Summary of Metro Alerts After the Crash

div#metroTimeline span {display: block; padding: 2px 0px; font-family:arial; font-size:14px;} div#metroTimeline a, div#metroTimeline a:visited {text-decoration: none; font-weight: bold; color:#0C4790;} div#metroTimeline a:hover, div#metroTimeline a:visited:hover {text-decoration: underline; color:#CC0000;} Several Metro riders expressed frustration over the notification they received about the Red Line crash after it happened. Many were stranded on platforms or in trains awaiting news. This compiled list looks at alerts and news briefings our reporters, editors and readers received from D.C. authorities, police and WMATA throughout the evening. The list reveals much clearer notification from Metro officials in press releases than in alerts provided to the public. In two cases, the alerts suggested that the issues had been resolved. If you have other actual alerts from Metro, please forward them to tellus@washingtonpost.com. 5:00 p.m.: Approximate time of crash between Fort Totten and Takoma stations. 5:07 p.m.: WMATA Alert: (ID 55697) Disruption at Tenleytown-AU. Expect delays in both directions due to...

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  June 23, 2009; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (104)
 
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Live Chat With Former NTSB Official

Experts familiar with Metro's operations focused last night on a failure of the signal system and operator error as likely causes of yesterday's fatal Red Line crash. Peter Goelz, former managing director at the National Transportation Safety Board, will be online at noon today to discuss the investigation. You can ask questions now or tune in live at noon....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Deadly Metro Crash Sparks Outpouring of Comments

Yesterday's Red Line crash, which killed 9, led to a deluge of reader comments ranging from discussions of Metro's communication system to condolences for those who lost loved ones in the accident.

By Sarah Mimms  |  June 23, 2009; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Metro , Safety  | Tags: Metro accident, Metro crash  
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Dead Train Operator Loved Her Job, Friend Says

From The Post: Jeanice McMillan so looked forward to work each morning that she would meticulously iron her Metro uniform the night before. When driving a bus route in Northern Virginia in recent years, she would tell friends how much she enjoyed interacting with passengers. McMillan, 42, of Springfield, died yesterday at the helm of her Red Line Metro train, which hurtled into the back of another train that had stopped between the Takoma and Fort Totten stations during the evening rush. One neighbor who knew McMillan well said today that the train operator would have done "anything in her power" to prevent the accident. Read this article on washingtonpost.com. If you knew McMillan and are willing to share thoughts or remembrances, please e-mail us....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Seven Men, 2 Women Died in Metro Crash

The dead in yesterday's Metro crash were all adults, The Post's Lena Sun has learned from a source close to the investigation. Seven were men, two women. Eight were passengers, Sun reports, with the other train operator Jeanice McMillan, 42, of Springfield. McMillan was the operator of the train that rear-ended another stopped in front of it. All of their families have been notified, according to Sun....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 11:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Video: Death Toll Reaches 9

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Riders Complain About Lack of Information

Many riders have told us they were frustrated about the lack of information available from any Metro source after the crash. People stuck on Red Line trains said they knew only that there was a problem up the line. Many riders were aboard trains that held for lengthy periods without clear announcements about the extent of the problem, how long they'd be holding, where they would eventually wind up or what they could do until then. They said this lack of useful information applied whether they were listening for platform announcements, statements from train operators, or reading e-mailed alerts from Metro. Reporters in stations were confirming that. And I could see it myself in the e-mail alerts as as I tried to post usable information here on the blog. Metro continues to have trouble getting out accurate and timely information after a major incident. Riders need to know how bad...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 23, 2009; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (83)
 
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More Updates, Reaction From Today's Commute

At Union Station about 9 a.m., Anika Roth, 24, an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Capital Area Food Bank, told staff writer Rick Rojas that she and her housemates received calls last night from around the world from friends and relatives asking about their welfare. "I kind of dreaded going to work today because I worried about something happening to one of my co-workers," she said. Staff writer Catherine Cheney interviewed commuters from 6:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., at various crowded bus stops in Silver Spring, seeking to get downtown: Megan Naff, 21, waited for a bus that would take her to Federal Center Southwest. The University of Maine student is working as a government intern and, looking like a D.C. native in her business skirt and tennis shoes, she pointed an older woman, who was lost, toward the MetroBus heading to Fort Totten. "It's very confusing," she said of the...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 9:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Update: Metro Crash Death Toll Confirmed as 9

At least 9 people died in yesterday's Metro crash, according to a report from The Post's Lena H. Sun, up from the 7 reported by Mayor Fenty at this morning's press conference. Two others are still in critical condition....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 9:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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News Conference Highlights: Post's Lena Sun

Post reporter Lena H. Sun, who covers Metro, identified the following points as the highlights of this morning's news conference: There were no black boxes on the train that hit the stationary train, so no data will be available from that train. There were nine event recorders on the train that was struck, so that data will eventually be recovered. NTSB will be looking at possible mechanical causes, signaling and operator training, among other issues. Perhaps most significant: NTSB says it told Metro after the 2004 crash that it should put event recorders on the 1000 series of trains, and should make them more crashworthy. Metro did not do so. The 1000 series comprises about 30 percent of the fleet, and is being phased out. Metro head John Catoe did not have an immediate response about why those recommendations were not followed but said the agency would do a full...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 8:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Transit Advice From Metro Managers on Commute

At the Red Line shuttle bus stop in Silver Spring, I ran into Metro managers Jim Hamre and Nat Bottigheimer, who along with many other Metro managers are checking the emergency services this morning. They offered this advice for your commutes today: -- Check back for announcements about the Red Line service. It's possible that trains could be running up to Fort Totten by the end of the day, but no guarantees. -- The S9, the 16th Street express service, will be running every 10 minutes all day. It usually operates only at rush hour. That's one option for those of you who take the Red Line from Glenmont. Rather than walk all the way up to the shuttle buses on Dixon Avenue, you could walk across East-West Highway at Colesville and pick up the convenient S9. Note that the shuttle is free, but the S9 isn't. (You do get...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 23, 2009; 8:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Metrobus, Metrorail, Red Line crash, commute, delays  
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More Scenes From the Morning Commute

As observed by Staff Writer James Hohmann from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.: Louis Spitz, 73, a psychoanalyst who practices in Dupont Circle, takes the train at about 7:15 every morning from Friendship Heights (he lives on the Maryland side) to Woodley Park, then walks the last mile or so to his office for exercise. This morning's southbound trains were more crowded than usual, he said, guessing that many people were getting on the train earlier to cope with delays. Normally he gets a seat, but he said they were all taken on his car today. "It was like rush hour going out," he said. "...Maybe people were worrying there would be delays and they got on a little earlier." Spitz said trains headed into the cityare moving every 10 minutes or so, as opposed to every 5 normally. --- Some passengers said that more people on the train talked...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 8:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Live Chat With Dr. Gridlock at 11 a.m.

Dr. Gridlock will be online today at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the latest updated information concerning yesterday's Red Line train crash and its effect on today's commute for thousands of Washingtonians. You can ask questions now or tune in at 11 a.m....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Tuesday Morning Press Conference Notes

Here are notes from this morning's press conference on the Metro crash. The city has scheduled another update for 5 p.m. today, during which they hope to issue a final update on casualties. At that point, further communications are expected to come from the NTSB, which is leading the investigation. -- Hersman: They hope to interview the surviving driver of the struck train today. -- Hersman: Investigators expect to recover 9 data recorders from the struck train, but don't believe there were good data recorders on the striking train, which she said was "disturbing" in terms of the potential for the investigation to quickly determine the cause of the crash. -- Deborah Hersman, NTSB: The struck train was a more modern model of than the striking train. -- D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier: Hopes to have one northbound lane of New Hampshire Ave. open for evening commute. -- Rubin:...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Tags: Metro accident, Metro crash, Red Line Metro collision  
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Blue, Orange Line Delays Cleared

Delays on the Orange and Blue Lines caused by a train malfunction at Eastern Market have been cleared, according to Metro....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Silver Spring Scene: Under Control

Metro has plenty of extra staffers out on the streets of downtown Silver Spring. They are directing riders to the Red Line shuttle buses at the M bus bay on Dixon Avenue. Most frequently asked question? "Where's the bus go?" said a Metro worker. Bus shelters and poles along Wayne Avenue are posted with hand-written white signs directing people to the shuttle service, which thankfully is not on congested Wayne Avenue, as it was last night. The Red Line bus shuttle is stopping at all the closed stations except Takoma, connecting up with the Red Line at Rhode Island Avenue Station. A special Ride On bus, also stopping at the M bus bay on Dixon Avenue, takes riders to Takoma. One thing I don't recommend: Taking the train down from Glenmont to Silver Spring. Not many people are doing this, and with good reason. It's a long, uphill walk from...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 23, 2009; 7:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Metrobus, Metrorail, Red Line crash, delays  
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Passengers Ride, React During Slowed Commute

Red Lines are slow this morning, traveling only at 35 miles per hour even at the opposite end of the line from the crash site. Given the slow speeds and the portion of the track closed because of the investigation, commuters are advised to add an hour or more to their travel time. On trains coming downtown from Shady Grove, an announcer explains to riders that the slower-than-usual speed is because of last night's accident. Several passengers said they thought about avoiding Metrorail altogether, but decided against it because they didn't want to fight road traffic or look for parking downtown. "I figured everybody and their brother would be driving, so parking would be a mess," said Michael Szirotniack, who commutes from Gaithersburg to the Department of Defense in Rosslyn. Some riders noticed heavier-than-usual ridership early, perhaps caused by commuters looking to avoid rush hour delays. "It was like rush...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 7:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Poll: Metro Riding After the Crash

poll by twiigs.com Leave further thoughts in the comments field below, or e-mail us....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 7:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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After Crash, Feds Urge Telework

From Ed O'Keefe's Federal Eye blog: The Office of Personnel Management has strongly urged federal managers to allow employees to telework from home today to avoid delays on Metro following last night's deadly crash. Federal government offices in Washington, D.C. will however open on time and operate under normal operating status today. "To the extent possible, managers are encouraged to allow employees on alternate work schedules to reschedule their day off," according to an OPM release sent early this morning. "Managers are encouraged to allow up to 2 hours of excused absence to account for travel delays." Read the full post on the Federal Eye....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 6:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Latest Updates on Live Traffic Map

If you expect that your drive could be affected by yesterday's Metro crash, please check Dr. Gridlock's commuter update -- and then visit our live traffic map for up-to-the-minute road conditions....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 6:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Morning Commute Will Be Tough For Many

Metrorail opened at 5 a.m., but with a bus bridge service on the eastern side of the Red Line similar to what riders encountered in the hours after the crash. The transit authority said riders should add an hour to their usual commuting times in that area this morning. MARC canceled today's service on the Brunswick Line from western Maryland into Union Station. Red Line Metro said that Red Line trains will operate between Glenmont and Silver Spring and between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue. Riders could board the free shuttle buses connecting the stations. Bus shuttles can be quickly overwhelmed by demand. This will be a slow way to get to work. Rush hour passengers who reach Silver Spring Station might consider taking one of Metrobus's limited stop services to reach downtown Washington. The S9 leaves every 10 minutes from the corner of Colesville Road and East-West Highway...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 23, 2009; 5:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Commuting , Metro , transit  | Tags: MARC, Metro delays, Metrobus, Metrorail, Red Line crash, Ride On  
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Interactive Timeline: Metro Accidents

This interactive timeline offers a historical look at the most significant accidents in Metro's 33-year history. Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content. Note: If you see a request to upgrade your Flash plug-in, try clicking this link. var so = new SWFObject("http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/interactives/2009/derail/train-timeline-454.swf", "train-timeline", "454", "350", "9", "#ffffff"); so.addParam("wmode","transparent"); so.write("flashcontent"); SOURCES: Staff reports, National Transportation Safety Board, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. CREDIT: Laura Stanton, Karen Yourish, and Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso -- The Washington Post...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 10:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Reader Photos of Metro Crash

A reader submitted the following scenes from this evening's deadly accident on the Red Line. If you were there, share your story in the comments or submit your photos....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  June 22, 2009; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Metro  
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Updated Video from Fenty

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 9:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Update to Number for Crash Info

The hotline to find out about possible missing victims: Dial 311. Those with non-D.C. telephone numbers are asked to call (202) 737-4404. Please note that this is a different number than had been distributed earlier....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 8:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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'The Front of the Train Just Opened Up'

Post reporters, passengers work to recreate the accident: In the first car of the six-car Red Line train, on a sunny-day evening commute, passengers heard a message familiar to any Metrorail rider: The conductor said they were holding for a moment -- there was a train ahead. The train started moving again, picking up to moderate speed. Then, without even the squeal of brakes as a warning, there was a crash, and the feeling of being lifted up as the train hit one that was stopped. Read the full story on washingtonpost.com....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 8:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Morning Commute Likely to Be Disrupted

The transit authority says it's still working out the details and expects to have more later this evening, but there probably will be a bus bridge on the Red Line between Silver Spring and Rhode Island Avenue, the same thing commuters experienced this evening. MARC still hasn't made a final decision about Brunswick Line service, but there's a good chance that the trains will be canceled and commuters will have to find their own alternative....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 8:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Tags: MARC delays, Metro delays, Red Line collision  
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Death Toll Rises in Crash, Mayor Says

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said tonight that the death toll in the Red Line crash has risen to six. "That is still a working number," he said. The scene of the collision between Takoma and Fort Totten has not been cleared. "The D.C. Fire Department continues to take the lead," the mayor said. "It's going to be a few hours before they can go through ... all of the wreckage."...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 8:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Tags: Fenty, Red Line collision, crash  
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Photo Gallery: Metro Crash

We've gathered a collection of photographs from Post photographers and others from the crash site. It's now available on the site....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 8:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Fenty: Death Toll Now 6

The mayor announced the death toll is up to six, with more than 70 taken to area hospitals. . "The scene is as horrific as you can imagine," he said. Authorities also asked people not to try to go to the site....

By Washington Post staff  |  June 22, 2009; 8:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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More Images From the Crash

Crash aftermath. (Bill O'Leary -- Post.) From the crash site. (James M. Thresher -- Post.) Emergency crews help victims. (William Wan -- Post.)...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 8:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Witness: "Oh God, it's Just Horrible"

Description from Linda Dixon at 2nd and Nicholson Streets NE: Dixon rushed out of her home when she head all the sirens. Around 5:30 she saw a man on a stretcher pulled out of the wreck and laid on the ground. A white sheet was pulled over him. Two hours later, the body was still laying there. At 7:25, a black van of the office of the medical examiner arrived. Dixon and others in the crowd gasped. By then the white sheet was stained with blood. "Oh God, it's just horrible," she said. "I feel so terrible because you just know there's somebody waiting for him to come home. He'll never get there."...

By Washington Post staff  |  June 22, 2009; 8:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Metro Sets Up Hotline

For those worried about people aboard the trains that were involved in the collision, Metro has established this special number to call for information: 202-727-9099....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 8:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Bus Bridge For MARC Riders

Brunswick Line riders who take Metro to the Rockville Station can pick up special buses to their destinations, MARC says....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 8:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Federal Safety Officials Begin Crash Investigation

The National Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a "go-team" to investigate the collision of two Metro trains this afternoon. This is a process similar to that following an airplane crash. Railroad Investigator Ed Dobranetski is investigator-in-charge and is leading the team, which includes two specialists from the NTSB Office of Transportation Disaster Assistance....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Some Injured Sent to Washington Hospital Center; Howard Hospital on Standby

At Washington Hospital Center in Northwest D.C. , employees went to "Code Orange" as they prepared for those injured in today's Metro crash to arrive; non-serious patients and others were asked to clear the waiting room. "Who is triaging?" called one nurse. Another employee compared the scene to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Ambulances started arriving after 6:30 p.m.; Park Police helicopters also delivered patients -- many around the same time as the hospital's night shift workers were arriving for duty. Some hospital workers set braces on the necks of the injured; others put colored tags -- yellow, orange, green magenta and black -- on their wrists that indicated the seriousness of their conditions. Staff waited by the doors for more patients. "It won't be long now," one said. Around 7 p.m., some of the hospital's doctors left for the crash scene. The hospital received seven patients from the...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 8:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Video: Metro General Manager Catoe on the Crash

Watch video from the Associated Press....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 7:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Reports Say Scores Injured in Train Crash

From Lena H. Sun: In addition to the four dead, officials said 70 people were injured, including 50 walking wounded, 12 with moderate injuries, and two with life-threatening injures....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Witness: Passengers Banged On Windows

Jervis Bryant lives near the site of the crash at New Hampshire and Oglethorpe NE. He was home and heard a boom. So he walked over to the site. "The folks were beating on the windows, trying to get out," he said. "I saw some of them on their cell phones. You can tell they didn't know what was going on, but they knew something had happened. They were just scared." -- Maria Glod...

By Washington Post staff  |  June 22, 2009; 7:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Bus Bridge Still in Effect For Red Line Riders

Red Line riders trying to get home in the direction of Glenmont can still take the Red Line trains to Rhode Island Avenue, where the trains are terminating, then board buses that will get them up to Silver Spring Station, where they can reboard Metrorail. That bus bridge is likely to be in effect for the rest of the evening. No word yet on when rail service will be restored through the crash zone between Takoma and Fort Totten....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Audio From a Neighborhood Crash Witness

Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 7:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Union Station Jammed With Commuters

The ripple effect of the crash was clear at Union Station, where witnesses reported that line of people waiting for a taxicab was at least 100 people long. Many of these were Metrorail passengers turned back from Rhode Island Avenue on the trains after the collision blocked the tracks to the north. Others were MARC train riders and Amtrak passengers who could not board their trains, because the rescue operation was blocking the tracks they would normally use....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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A Mother's Cries Answered

Scene from the corner of Oglethorpe St. NW and Blair Road NW at 7:15 p.m.: Sharon Hodge was standing behind police lines as an ambulance drove by. She was screaming "Corey, Corey, can you hear me? You in there? Mama's here." Her cell phone rang shortly thereafter. It was Corey. They were told he was being taken to Washington Adventist. Corey, 26, was on the train with his aunt. They were in the last car, said a relative. They believe he was merely shaken but was being taken to a hospital as a precaution. Maya Maroto, 31, of Burtonsville, said a friend was riding in the third car of the top train. She said there was just a "bam." "Not like there was a skid or anything," said Maroto. "All the power went out in the train and there was smoke. There was an older woman who appeared to be...

By Washington Post staff  |  June 22, 2009; 7:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Metro's Latest Update on Red Line Collision

This is the latest statement from Metro, updating details and reviewing all the information on the crash: Two six-car Red Line trains collided at 5 p.m. today, Monday, June 22, resulting in four fatalities, including a female train operator. There were also several injuries, many serious, according preliminary reports. Metro officials advise that people avoid the Red Line the remainder of the day. Trains are operating between Glenmont and Silver Spring Metrorail stations and between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue Metrorail stations for the remainder of the day. (Please note that this is a change in locations.) Shuttle buses are operating between Silver Spring and Rhode Island Avenue Metrorail stations to help customers get around the incident. Emergency officials remain at the scene. Metro officials are also working with the National Transportation Safety Board. "We are extremely saddened that there are fatalities as a result of this accident, which...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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"Everyone Started Screaming"

Dylan Hooks, 17, was on one of the trains. "All I heard was a boom. Everybody started screaming. Somebody hit their head on the glass," he said. "We were just trying to figure out what happened." Dylan says that the electricity in the train went off, and the passengers on his car had to open the doors themselves. But it wasn't too difficult, and they walked out on their own power. -- Maria Glod...

By Washington Post staff  |  June 22, 2009; 7:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Photo From the Crash Scene

Workers inspect the wreckage. (Toni L. Sandys -- Post.)...

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 7:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Rescuers Still Searching Trains

More from mayor's press conference: D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty: "All along the East Coast will be significantly impacted, probably at least until tomorrow morning." Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr.: "First, I'd like to give my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives today. Also to the families of those who are injured, and our deep, heartfelt pain is with you, and we will do whatever we can to hel[p you through this process.'' Cato says the accident occurred at 5:02 p.m. "We 're still conducting the investigation. The NTSB currently has jurisdiction ... As soon as we have the specifics, we will communicate those." "We're searching through the train to determine if there are any more individuals on the train." said that at 7:17 p.m. "We don't know" if there are still people trapped on the train....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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A "Crashing Jolt"

Tom Baker, 47, of Washington said he was in the first car of the train that landed on top. He estimated eight to 10 passengers in his car. They had pulled out of Takoma Park on the way to Ft. Totten when the female conductor announced that they were holding because there was a train in front of them. Shortly thereafter, he said, the train started moving again. Within a minute there was an "enormous crashing jolt." "You could hear all this crashing and glass breaking," Baker said. "I didn't hear any brakes at all." He said that you could see the train lifting up in to the air. "When the dust settled, the entire front of the train was gone and they could see down to the train on below them. There were numerous injuries in his car; he said; Seats were ripped out by the force and tossed...

By Washington Post staff  |  June 22, 2009; 7:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Phone Number for Information

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier has asked people seeking information about the crash to call (202) 727-9099, a number at the Metropolitan Police Department. Expect heavy call volumes; several recent calls were met with a busy signal....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 7:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Unlikely Scene For Train Collision

For many of us who have covered Metro, this crash is mystifying. The stretch of track on the Red Line between Takoma and Fort Totten is one of the straightest and most wide open in the Metrorail system. You're above ground all the way. The terrain is flat. The weather this afternoon was fine. It's one of the biggest distances between stations in the system. Trains can get going quite fast there, compared to other segments of track. This was a rear end collision. Metro has many systems designed to stop a collision, whether the trains are being operated automatically, or are under the control of the train operator in the front cab....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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D.C. Mayor Fenty Hold Press Conference on Crash

From Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's press conference at 7:10 p.m.: "What we do know is that there are scores of people who have been injured. There are already four confirmed fatalities. This is the deadliest accident in the history of our Metro train trainsit system. We want to express our condolences ... our hearts go out to the many loved ones ... "We are cooperating fully with WMATA. They will then cooperate fully with the NTSB. They will have to do an investigation and a release of the scene."...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Crowding Easing on Red Line

Red Line trains are moving pretty well between Rhode Island Avenue and Shady Grove, according to what we can see from Metro Center. About 15 minutes ago, the trains were packed, but the crowding is easing now. Trains are coming through the station in bunches. Here's the status report that Metro is giving out right now on its Web site: Disruption system-wide. Customers traveling or connecting to the Red Line, due to significant Red Line delays, customers are encouraged to add an additional 30 minutes to their travel times. Red Line: Disruption at Fort Totten. Trains are turning back at Rhode Island Ave & Silver Spring due to a train experiencing mechanical difficulties outside of Ft. Totten. Shuttle service has been established....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags: Red Line Metro collision  
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Deadliest Accident In Metro History

Four dead, says Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Video: Metro Spokeswoman on Crash

Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Two Dead, Including Operator of a Train in Collision

This is the latest statement from Metro: Two six-car Red Line trains collided at 5 p.m. today, Monday, June 22, resulting in two fatalities, including a female train operator. There were also several injuries, many serious, according preliminary reports. Metro officials advise that people avoid the Red Line the remainder of the day. Trains are operating between Glenmont and Silver Spring Metrorail stations and between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue Metrorail stations for the remainder of the day. (Please note that this is a change in locations.) Shuttle buses are operating between Silver Spring and Rhode Island Avenue Metrorail stations to help customers get around the incident. Emergency officials remain at the scene. "We are extremely saddened that there are fatalities as a result of this accident, which has touched our Metro family. We hope to have more details about the casualties later today. Our safety officials are investigating,...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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One Red Line Train Hit Back of Other, Metro Says

According to Metros spokewoman Lisa Farbstein, the two trains were both headed in the same direction. One rear-ended the other. The female operator of the trailing train died. "obviously something went terribly wront for two trains to be on the same track," she said. Dave Satter on Channel 9 says EMS sources say all the people have been removed from the trains. Those sources also tell him 42 people were sent to hospitals--28 of those were "walking wounded." The other 14 were hurt more seriously....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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MARC Trains Stopped Due to Collision

As Dr. Gridlock reported in a previous post, travelers along the Baltimore Brunswick Line are experiencing delays and complete stops due to the Red Line collision. MARC's Web site reports that the Marc 893 train is stopped on the tracks and Marc 879 and all following trains will hold in Union Station until the tracks are cleared....

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  June 22, 2009; 6:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Fenty to Update on Crash at 7:15 p.m.

District Mayor Adrian Fenty has scheduled an update on Metro's train crash for 7:15 p.m. tonight. He'll appear along with EMS and police officials....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 6:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Many Disruptions Following Red Line Collision

We're going to do updates on the blog as we get them to tell you what we know about the accident and about what commuters should do. There are many street closures in the area around the Red Line collision between Takoma and Fort Totten. Those include New Hampshire Avenue, in both directions, North Capitol Street in both directions, Eastern Avenue in both directions and South Dakota Avenue northbound. Nicholson Street completely closed MARC train service is shut down in both directions near the incident....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 6:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Two Dead, Many Injured in Red Line Collision

A collision between two Metro trains on the Red Line betweenTakoma and Fort Totten has left two people dead and many seriously injured, according to preliminary reports. Here's a link to a Twitter picture, a screen shot from Channel 9. It shows one train car resting on top of another. Rescue workers are struggling to get injured passengers off the trains and out on stretchers. D.C. Fire/EMS spokesman Alan Etter said: "We have a number of injuries ... And we have dozens of injuries. The fire department is still in the process of extricating people from the cars. We're using heavy rescue equipment to cut open the cars to get whoever's trapped in there out." Many details about the accident are unclear. First reports said there one train derailed before the other train collided with it, but that may not have been the case. New reports from passengers suggest it...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 6:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (64)
Tags: Metro accident, delays, train accident  
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Major Road Closures Surrounding Shady Grove Station

The District transportation department is reporting closures on major roads surrounding the Metro station where two trains collided this evening. New Hampshire Avenue, North Capitol Street and Eastern Avenue and Nicholson Street are closed in both directions; South Dakota Avenue northbound also is shut down. Metro continues to encourage commuters to avoid the Red Line tonight, and is reporting heavy traffic on the Green Line....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  June 22, 2009; 6:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Commuting , Metro  
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History of Two-Train Metro Crashes

Today's accident is at least the third crash between Metro trains to result in casualties in the past 15 years. The most recent collision occurred in November 2004 when an empty train between the Cleveland Park and Woodley Park stations slid backward down a steep grade and into a train at the Woodley Park station at about 30 miles per hour, sending 20 people to the hospital. The driver of the second train was credited with beginning a rapid evacuation of the train before the collision. As in today's crash, one train wound up on top of the other. See photos of the aftermath of that collision here. National Transportation Safety Board investigators found after that accident that operators were ill-informed about what to do if their train began rolling backward too quickly, and that many were under the impression that all Metro trains had computerized systems that would prevent...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  June 22, 2009; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Metro  
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At Least 1 Dead, 9 Hurt in Metro Crash: Report

A Metro representative has just told ABC-7 television that one person died and at least one was injured in the collision near Fort Totten. CNN has also reported the death. If you were on this train, or know someone who was, e-mail us....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 5:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Taking the Uncertainty Out of Bus Travel

"Where's the bus?" is the question for people waiting at shelter. (Thomson) Some of the longest moments of a traveler's day are spent gazing down the avenue, hoping to catch sight of an approaching bus, as you see in the photo above. But in a week and a half, riders may be able to turn their attention to more productive waiting games. Lena H. Sun wrote in Sunday's Post about Metro's plan to bring back NextBus on July 1. If it works the way it's supposed to, NextBus will be the biggest breakthrough in transit this year. We already have new Circulator bus routes in DC. That's good. The Circulator buses are distinctive looking, they charge an easy to remember fare of $1, the stops have easy to understand maps showing their routes and the buses arrive on an easy to remember 10 minute schedule. We also have new...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, NextBus  
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ND: Traffic Alert: Accident Cleared on Outer Loop at Georgia Ave.

An earlier accident that blocked lanes on the Outer Loop of the Beltway after Georgia Ave. has been cleared to the shoulder Delays have eased....

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 22, 2009; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Advisories  
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The Week Ahead in Traffic, Transit

HOT lanes construction on Rt. 123 blocks left lanes in Tysons. (Joseph Romeo Photography) Here are some things to look forward to, as this week gets off to a sunny start. The end of school and the start of summer vacation season things to have calmed things down a bit. Baseball Traffic: The Nats play Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:05 p.m. against the Boston Red Sox at Nationals Park, South Capitol and M streets. Those are likely to draw good-sized crowds, for Nats games, so that can mean some extra congestion during evening rush hour on the Southeast-Southwest Freeway and along South Capitol Street. Metro is likely to be crowded at the transfer stations and along the Green Line to Navy Yard Station, the closest to the stadium. (Drivers, remember you can park free at RFK Stadium and take the free Nats Express to 300 M St. SE,...

By Robert Thomson  |  June 22, 2009; 7:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting  | Tags: 14th street bridge, Dr. Gridlock, chain bridge, intercounty connector, vdot  
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Many Street Closings Downtown For Triathlon

[3 p.m. Update: The race is over. Cleanup is starting on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, the District reports. The avenue is open between 3rd Street and 7th Street, but is still closed from 7th to 14 Street. All bridges are open.] Original post: There are extensive street closures today around the National Mall and up the Potomac River into Georgetown for the Dextro EnergyTriathlon. See a map here. Also, Metrorail has delays of 20 to 30 minutes on the Orange, Blue and Yellow lines because of track work. See more details in The Weekend and Beyond. [At 10 a.m., the downtown traffic camera views look pretty good. Maybe a Father's Day effect?] Also, there's the Nationals game at 1:35 p.m., which usually means some congestion along South Capitol Street, and on the Green Line and at Metrorail transfer stations....

By Robert Thomson  |  June 21, 2009; 7:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Events  | Tags: Dextro Energy Triathlon, Dr. Gridlock, Nationals Park, Washington congestion  
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