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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. Shuttle bus service will continue.

updated 8:44 a.m.

"Downtown train on the platform." It was great to hear that announcement from Metro on the Silver Spring platform this morning at 8:30. The train is holding for five minutes because trains are single tracking, the train operator tells us. The first car is only slightly less full than the others. After our first stop, Takoma, the first car is jammed to capacity.

Meanwhile Metro employees at the bus shuttle stop told me that ridership seemed to be down this morning because of the Red Line reopening. The shuttle to Fort Totten will operate all day, but the one to Georgia Ave-Petworth is no longer operating, they said.

updated 9:08 a.m.

The trip between Takoma and Fort Totten was slow but oddly uneventful in light of Monday's tragedy on those tracks. Passengers in the full first car read or stared at their feet. I heard no one remark on the crash.

The doors opened on the right at Fort Totten where the platform also was jammed. Some riders got off to transfer to the Green Line, where the platform is much less crowded and trains are frequent.

By Washington Post Editor  |  June 25, 2009; 5:13 AM ET
Categories:  Metro , Safety , transit  
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Comments

Why does Metro still have Wednesday's information on their website and not today's? This is crazy. It's good that the Post makes the info available, but you do have to know where to look - it could be easier to find.

Posted by: alordeman | June 25, 2009 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Are shuttle buses going to be running the entire day or only when the section is closed?

Posted by: dhlunar | June 25, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how slow is slow? Has anyone tried the one track route to DC through Silver Spring and Takoma today? I'm trying to decide if it will be faster than an S-9.

Posted by: janzinn | June 25, 2009 6:44 AM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Plan is to run shuttle buses all day. Single tracking during rush hour is likely to cause a great deal of congestion. But if you normally get on the trains at Silver Spring, that's still likely to be a better trip than taking the shuttle buses along the slow, winding street route to Fort Totten this morning.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | June 25, 2009 6:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't know, this sounds like a lot of delays as well. I'm still going to go with one of the J buses to Bethesda, then the red line from there to downtown. It's definitely faster than the shuttle -- and it just might be faster than single-tracking, too. I'll wait to ride the train from Silver Spring until I hear from some riders who experienced the single-tracking...

Thanks for keeping us updated.

Posted by: L1234 | June 25, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

The morning delays were worse today than Tuesday or Wednesday.

Grosvenor station - missed a train and waited 20 minutes for the next one. The signs said there would be one 3 minutes after that and then 10 minutes after the second train.

Posted by: r6345 | June 25, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm staying with friends on the Orange line until the end of the week. I'm hoping by Monday the single tracking will be figured out and there won't be as many delays. Thanks for the updates. This is much better than Metro's slow to update site!

Posted by: jmilcetich | June 25, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

I got on at Takoma at 7:10 and got off at Dupont at 7:40. That's about 10 minutes longer than the trip usually takes. It took 10 minutes to get from Takoma to Fort Totten, but the train went a bit faster after that (still slow), but on the other hand it wasn't very crowded.

Posted by: maralenenok | June 25, 2009 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Why are the station announcement still telling red line passengers to expect delays "due to an incident at the Fort Totten Station?" The folks that are still using metro can handle the truth. There are delays on the red line due to the collision. Incident makes it sounds like they are trying to minimize the event. Let's face it - the whold world knows there was a 2-train collision with multiple fatalities. Don't insult us by downplaying the severity.

Posted by: bemused58 | June 25, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Also, the wait times I saw on the signs seemed reasonable. Don't remember the particulars but it was definitely under 10 minutes between each train.

Posted by: maralenenok | June 25, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I have been taking the train from Twinbrook Station for the past two days and I'm grateful that there is at least that option to get to Metro Center without a lot of changing of busess and such, but this morning was not the most pleasant trip in a very long while. The car I was on was so packed that everyone was nose to nose. In addition to that, there was no air conditioning or air circulation at all so that eventually the car was offloaded and put out of service. Which meant us folks on that car had to scramble to possibly fit on any of the other cars which turned out to be impossible. You would think Metro would have checked out each car before putting it in service during this trying time. This made my trip doubly uncomfortable with no air and having to stand the entire way to Metro Center. Hopefully the trip home will be a lot better this afternoon.

Posted by: MB2007 | June 25, 2009 8:36 AM | Report abuse

The morning delays were worse today than Tuesday or Wednesday.

Grosvenor station - missed a train and waited 20 minutes for the next one. The signs said there would be one 3 minutes after that and then 10 minutes after the second train.

Posted by: r6345 | June 25, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse


Agreed. The single-tracking is worse for those of us who commute from MD/NW stations downtown. My 15 minute trip (on-train time) took 40 minutes this am.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | June 25, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I wish that the metro announcements in the stations would stop saying that the delays are due to a "situation" outside Ft. Totten. Call it what it is - an ongoing investigation of an accident earlier in the week. Everyone who lives here knows what happened - are they afraid of scaring the tourists?

Posted by: Axel2 | June 25, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

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, standing in utter silence.

Posted by: andycarvin | June 25, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Grosvenor to Metro Station took just under 40 minutes this morning (leaving at 8:15) - definitely feeling the speed restrictions. At least this one started empty at Grosvenor.

Posted by: grosver | June 25, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

It still took a long way. About an hour for me to get from Wheaton to Farragut North. Sure, the single tracking was an issue, but it seems like we stopped for two minutes at each station for a "schedule adjustment."

My driver was good, though, gave lots of good updates. He said I'm sure you're all aware of why the delays are here, thanks for your patience. A lot of the delay seemed to come from the dual whammy of trains on manual control and the speed limit.

Posted by: edwardaggie98 | June 25, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

How has the Post and everyone commenting ignored the fact that Metro has effectively eliminated any advantage of living in the city? Trains coming from MD down Connecticut are full by the time they cross into DC and people living at Van Ness, Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, etc. literally have no opportunity to board anything. In addition, no extra L buses down Connecticut are being run and those are full after just a few stops and refuse to make any additional stops until Dupont. Why pay more for convenience when public transportation does not exist? I'd gladly take 45 minutes from Silver Spring to Dupont instead of 1 hour, 5 minutes from Cleveland Park to Farragut North.

Posted by: djones13 | June 25, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have any information on the Shady Grove section of the redline? Should we expect this to be affected by long delays as well? Has anyone ridden this portion of the redline? I can continue to avoid the Silver Spring portion of the redline but I need to go to Friendship Heights tonight (from College Park) and then back to Dupont and am not sure this is possible without getting on the red line. Any info is appreciated!

Posted by: cej1 | June 25, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Gridlock,
Last night's Red Line home was a nightmare. I got on the Takoma Park bound train at 6:30 or so at Dupont Circle. First the driver pulled the 6-car train up to the very end, leaving people to scramble to get on the last car. And presumably she was doing that the whole route because the last car was the most crowded and some people ended up having to wait another 15 minutes for the next one.

It was jammed to the point where you didn't need to hold on to a rail standing up -- the crush of bodies held you up.

When I got off at Union Station, I was barely able to get off -- in fact I think several people were forced to continue their ride to New York Ave because she shut the doors on us -- once more, because she pulled the train all the way to the front and apparently the back car was way more crowded than the front cars so she presumably had no idea people were still getting off.

I also feel sorry for the people trying to get on. Because passengers were having trouble getting off, they weren't able to board.

I let the station agent know about the problem. I don't know if he alerted the operator.

I know we all have to practice patience after such a tragedy, but the train operators really need to realize this is not a routine rush hour on the Red Line right now.

Posted by: Elkay1 | June 25, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Elkay1: it's been reported that all train operators have been instructed to pull the entire train to the beginning of the platform, so they don't have to remember whether they're driving 6 or 8-car trains, which has been a problem in the past. So, don't wait at the end of the platform -- you may not have a car there.

Also, I heard a very effective announcement about single tracking when I arrived at Gallery Place this morning from SS that referred to the "ongoing accident investigation." So, I was pleased to hear that and not "situation," etc.

Posted by: melp | June 25, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"Does anyone have any information on the Shady Grove section of the redline? Should we expect this to be affected by long delays as well? Has anyone ridden this portion of the redline? I can continue to avoid the Silver Spring portion of the redline but I need to go to Friendship Heights tonight (from College Park) and then back to Dupont and am not sure this is possible without getting on the red line. Any info is appreciated!"

The redline is running fine but there are speed restrictions throughout the redline (maybe system wide?) and when the trains are on manual control they also don't go as fast. So be sure to leave yourself extra time to reach your destination (I'd say 30 mintues at least, probably more like 45).

If I were you and if you are traveling during rush hour, I would take the J4 bus from College Park metro to Bethesda Metro. Then board the redline there and go one stop to Friendship Heights (you could also take the 34 Ride-on Bus from Bethesda to Friendship Heights, but the metro will be faster even with speed restrictions).


Taking metro from Friendship Heights to Dupont shouldn't be a problem later. You may just experience slower trains and a slightly longer travel time.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | June 25, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

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