Better Announcements For Red Line Riders
8:10 a.m. on the Red Line at Silver Spring: "Good morning, customers. I have two reminders for you today." The operator went on to remind riders that all trains are pulling to the front of the platform and that trains continue to move slower on the Red Line during the investigation of the June 22 crash.
I heard the messsages repeated at Takoma, Union Station, Gallery Place, Metro Center and Dupont Circle. Pretty good frequency, I thought. The repetition increased at the downtown stations where there is so much loading and unloading of passengers. At one point, the operator included a suggestion that riders check the platform message boards to see how many cars were in an approaching train so they would know where to stand. Also, when the train stopped outside Takoma Station, he immediately let passengers know that we were waiting for a train at the platform to move.
The message boards on the platforms -- at least the ones I was able to see during the morning rush -- were accurate about arrival times and number of cars. I noticed, as many riders have, that the destinations may vary. Some trains are marked once again as terminating at Grosvenor or Silver Spring, rather than at the ends of the Red Line. But Metro has not announced a return to the normal pattern. Metro could still end train trips anywhere along the line if controllers determine they need to relieve crowding back in the other direction.
By the way, the train trip I measured, from Silver Spring to Metro Center, was indeed long. It took 26 minutes, rather than the normal 18 minutes.
Metro is providing more information about the crash and its consequences in a section on its Web site. Use this link.
This page within that section gives a status report on track circuit monitoring throughout the rail system. There's a link on that page to a YouTube video that shows you what a controller is looking at in monitoring trains from the Operations Control Center.
I know that these days train trips can vary not only day to day, not only rush hour to rush hour, but also train to train. What was your experience today?
July 30, 2009; 9:49 AM ET
Categories: Metro , transit | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail delays, Red Line crash
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