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Metro is moving smoothly...for now

Around the Metro system over the past two hours, riders have said they were pleasantly surprised with how well the system -- including the Red Line -- is moving, even as it is crowding up in advance of the afternoon rush.

This blogger checked out typical choke points and bottlenecks from between noon and 2 p.m. Crowds were moving pretty smoothly, and trains were coming at regular intervals in both directions. (We checked Gallery Place-Chinatown, Metro Center and Farragut North).

The Green Line, filled with fans heading toward the Navy Yard station and the now in-progress Nationals game, was not much more crowded than might be expected for a game on an ordinary Saturday.

At the Smithsonian station on the Blue Line, there was no one waiting to leave around 1 p.m. But lots of people were getting off the train. Still, the large crowds seemed civil. That stop has been closed on July Fourth over the past few years, but officials opened it this year as part of an effort to alleviate delays.

A train experiencing mechanical problems at the Landover station around 11 a.m. forced trains to share the same track between Cheverly and New Carrollton on the Orange Line. That incident was cleared up about two hours ago.

The Metro will get more crowded over the next few hours, as the masses descend on the National Mall for tonight's fireworks. The trains will also certainly be packed full after the fireworks when the folks who came in to town over the course of the day all try to get at once. Metro officials warn that riders should expect to wait up to 90 minutes to get on any train near the National Mall after the end of tonight's fireworks show.

There are lots of tourists out on the lines today. One piece of evidence: the number of flashes from their digital cameras. What local would want his or her photo taken in the depths of the station?

By James Hohmann  |  July 4, 2009; 2:10 PM ET
 | Tags: Metro, Red Line  
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