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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.

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Some passengers said that more people on the train talked to each other early Monday. Confused about delays and alternate routes, they asked others how they might get to work. Chris Huber, in town for a toxicologist pathology conference from Ambler, Pa., said a lot more people were talking to each other than she remembers from all her previous experiences on Metrorail.

"People were uncertain about how to navigate around and what the delay was going to be," said Huber, 57.

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Josh Wojnilower, 24, spent the night in the Woodley Park area. He heard about delays, but he figured he'd try to take the Red Line anyway. When he rode the elevator down into the station and heard that there could be hour delays--and he didn't see a train heading northbound anytime soon on the indicator display--he got back up on the elevator and hailed a cab on Connecticut Avenue. He was heading to Bethesda to pick up his car and head to his finance job in Rockville. (He also lives in Rockville.) Many riders toward Woodley Park are saying that the delays are not much longer than 10 or so minutes compared to a usual morning. Several say there are as many or more riders than usual. More likely is that there seems to be more passengers than they expect.

Multiple passengers have complained that the signs which indicate when the next train is coming are not working, giving times that show longer delays than there actually have been.

Ken Danforth, 50, usually takes the Metro one stop from near his home in Dupont Circle to Woodley Park, whose escalators open near the entrance to the Marriott, where he works as event manager.

He thought about walking but decided to chance taking the train, figuring this area of the line was far enough from the accident. When he got down to the concourse, a sign said the next train was 18 minutes away. He was starting to turn around to walk the 10-15 minutes up CT Ave. when he saw the lights. He only ended up waiting 2 minutes.

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Others have noted the emotions evoked by all the photos of the crash in newspapers read on the train.

The copies of the Examiner and the Extra, handed out free at the entrances to many of the city's Metro, have large pictures of the same kind of rail car the passengers are about to get on.

"It is very eerie," said Rick Quander, 54, a pathologist who lives in Silver Spring. "Every other person is reading the articles."

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 23, 2009; 8:46 AM ET
 
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Comments

"Extra"? Perhaps you meant "Express."

Posted by: ChrisCombs | June 23, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

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