Two Weeks After: Red Line Still Slow, Crowded
Metro is going to try to get more trains on the Red Line this afternoon. That's the best news I can give to riders who flooded my weekly online chat this afternoon with complaints about the service, two weeks after the train crash.
Some riders said they noticed that the 35 mph speed limit imposed on the entire line had been lifted. But because trains still must slow in the crash zone between Takoma and Fort Totten, service still can be sluggish in many areas.
Here are several descriptions that I did not have a chance to post during the chat. Each writer describes a morning experience on the line.
Red Line: Got on at Grosvenor today. Room to get on there, but once past Tenleytown it was just a mess. I don't know how anyone who lives in the city could get on as the trains were 9 minutes apart, so they couldn't just wait for the next one. Got off at Farragut but almost didn't due to not being able to get through the crowds.
Folks don't want to step off the train to allow people out, and then step back on ... I think out of fear that they themselves won't get back on.
Red Line: The red line is not normal. There is still a longer than usual gap between trains resulting in massive overcrowding to the point that people at the closer in stations aren't able to board at all. Also, the Silver Spring to Grosvenor turnback does not appear to have been restarted.
Red Line Commute: Most certainly NOT back to normal; I commute from Bethesda to Metro Center and trains were still 10+ minutes apart and very crowded. Normal speeds are irrelevant since we had to repeatedly stop and hold at stations or in tunnels.
Washington, D.C.: How was the Red Line you ask this morning?
It was packed. I got to Metro Center a little after 8:00 a.m. and the board didn't have a time for the next red line to Glenmont. Finally it popped up that it was 6 minutes. The next train after that was 15 minutes.
While those comments reflect the majority I received, there were some like this.
Glenmont: I rode in from Glenmont today around 8:15 and found the ride very smooth. The cars were relatively empty, even at Silver Spring, where it had been loading up during the slowdown. We only slowed down a bit around Takoma, and it only added maybe 10 minutes to the trip.
Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel told me there were about 30 trains on the line this morning, which would be fewer than normal, and it's because of the ripple effects from those slower speeds in the crash zone.
Based on this morning's experience, Taubenkibel said, Metro is planning to add more Red Line trains this afternoon. But if train controllers find the Red Line is backing up as a result, they may have to turn some trains at stations all along the line.
July 6, 2009; 1:44 PM ET
Categories: Metro , transit | Tags: Metrorail delays, Red Line crash
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