More Red Line Disruptions Thursday and Saturday
There's another big break in service coming, Metro says. Takoma Station will close from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. This will allow the National Transportation Safety Board to continue its investigation of the June 22 train crash.
Metro says it was told by the NTSB this afternoon that the investigators will test the sight distance along the tracks between Takoma and Fort Totten, the zone where the fatal crash occurred. That means no regular train travel in that area during the hours of the testing.
So during that time, the Red Line will be divided into two now-familiar segments. Trains will run between Glenmont and Silver Spring and between Fort Totten and Shady Grove. In between, riders will have to board free shuttle buses, which will stop at Takoma as well as Silver Spring and Fort Totten.
Riders are going to be angry about this renewed disruption, but the sight line testing is important. I'm sure many of you are curious to learn more about this aspect of the investigation.
After the crash, I was so puzzled about how a crash could occur on this wide open and flat part of the Red Line that I sat as far forward as I could in southbound trains to have a view similar to what a train operator would see. I was very surprised by the limits on the forward view around the big bend near New Hampshire Avenue, to the point where I wondered whether the fencing and the trees along the right side of the bend would turn out to factors that limited the train operator's ability to see the stopped train.
Seeing that view and knowing that the track circuit in that area continued to malfunction after the crash, made it much easier to accept Metro's decision to send only one train at a time in each direction through the crash zone.
July 15, 2009; 5:51 PM ET
Categories: Metro | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail delays, Red Line crash
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