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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 Totten.

Metro has put more buses on the 16th Street line and the Georgia Avenue line, but many of the buses are crowded.

The Red Line between Shady Grove and Fort Totten is crowded and slow, too. I've been hearing more complaints about that today than yesterday. The trains are under manual control and they're operating more slowly than usual. But also, it's difficult to maintain the usual frequency of operation when dealing with a shortened section of the line.

Baseball game: And don't forget that the 7:05 p.m. Nationals game with the Red Sox is likely to cause more congestion than usual on the Green Line and at the stations where fans switch to the Green Line. That's Gallery Place on the Red Line and L'Enfant Plaza on the Blue and Orange. (Same time Thursday.)

Looking ahead: We're unsure when we get the full Red Line back, but we're also unsure what Metro will do about this weekend's track work. Metro almost always has track work on weekends, causing delays on the lines involved, but we don't know whether this week's events have thrown off the schedule. Also, the NTSB is talking about possibly doing some more of the investigation at the scene this weekend, which could affect the schedule of Red Line trains even if the tracks have been reopened by then.

By Robert Thomson  |  June 24, 2009; 5:12 PM ET
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Thank you for posting this. You are so much more helpful than Metro's website!

Posted by: DOEJN | June 24, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I decided to drive in this morning via 16th Street, and traffic was pretty awful. It took about 50 minutes from E/W Highway to K Street.

Then again, I've never driven to work before on a normal weekday, so I have no clue if it's always like this.

Posted by: jonnydoe1234 | June 24, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Someone I know needs to get to Silver Spring from downtown DC at around 9pm tonight. They were thinking of taking the Red line to Fort Totten then taking the shuttle. Is this advised at that time of night, or would anyone advise a different way?

Posted by: dhlunar | June 24, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Have the person travel NORTH on 13th street downtown Washington until Georgia Ave, then left & travel up Georgia Ave to Silver Spring.

OR instead of a left turn at Ga Ave, continue north on 13th, it becomes Piney Branch Rd & will enter MD in Takoma Park, which is real close to Silver Spring.

Posted by: Robbnitafl | June 24, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Less buses on the streets & the 79 & S9 both will be in the garages by then, so My suggestion is to AVOID METROBUS at all costs, unless you like crowds & confined spaces

Posted by: Robbnitafl | June 24, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Thank you very much for posting this. I, and so many others, are just left wondering: why the complete radio silence from WMATA on the status of the Red Line reopening? Even an announcement telling us that they know nothing and it could be next week would be much better than the status quo, as we could at least then plan ahead for the next couple of days. It seems that the communications concerns expressed by your blog and so many others following the tragic accident are not being taken into account.

Posted by: concernedcitizen40 | June 24, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

This just follows the pattern of terrible communication on behalf of WMATA. Can the WP do some reporting as to why WMATA is not giving out a tentative plan for re-opening? It would be really helpful for their customers to be able to do some short-range plannning.

Posted by: jleffler1 | June 24, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Are there any buses for users of the other end of the Red Line? I'd love to avoid the Red Line, but how else do you get from Bethesda to Gallery Place without driving?

Posted by: AkaWho | June 24, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate the posting, but would have liked to see a headline that says "Red Line Stations in SS and Takoma Still Closed. No Decisions Announced About Thursday" throughout the afternoon after about 3pm.

The Post's coverage of closures over the past couple of days has been just has hard to find as WMATA's.

Posted by: arlingtonian4 | June 24, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your updates - I must say that I have had no trouble finding them on the Post's website and agree that they are much clearer than WMATA's communications.

I've ridden the shuttles Takoma - Ft. Totten since Monday evening and I have to commend Metro for having a lot of buses, a lot of helpful employees, and a great attitude. My fellow riders seem very patient too.

One thing that is driving me nuts is that the shuttles are going right through the N. Capitol morass. This morning we got lucky and caught a K6 (along Eastern) instead of the Shuttle. This cost $1 more but what a difference in time!

Why don't the shuttles use a better route? Traffic flows pretty well on Eastern!

Better yet (but not likely): how about we have a bus-only route from Takoma to Ft. Totten along N. Cap? Given the need to move so many people to replace the Red Line it would be justified.

Posted by: TakomaDuck | June 24, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I am wondering, why can't Takoma station be open to trains in the direction of Glenmont?

Posted by: DOEJN | June 24, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I rode the Green Line to Georgia Avenue - Petworth this afternoon, arriving at the station about 5:00. According to the WMATA personnel at the station, there is no shuttle service to Silver Spring Station. There were additional busses on the 79 (Metro Extra) route and the usual costs. Traffic was quite heavy in downtown Silver Spring and the trip took about 40 minutes. The early morning trip south is a little over 15 minutes.

That said, thank you for your column. It is the best source of info on this difficult situation.

Posted by: slater402 | June 24, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

AkaWho -- Try one of the J buses (J1, 2, 3, or 4) or a RideOn bus (I think it's Route 11?) that run along E-W Hwy from Silver Spring to Bethesda.

Posted by: L1234 | June 25, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

When can we expect the Red Line to resume normal service, i.e., when will the investigation be closed? Is it too much to hope that Monday will bring a fully functioning Red Line?

Posted by: pele54 | June 25, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

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