Was Your Red Line Commute a Bit Easier?
Metro had about 40 trains on the line this morning, transit authority spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said. That's only slightly fewer than normal.
"We were doing turnbacks at Grosvenor, and some at Silver Spring," he told me in an e-mail. "However, since we were experiencing backups to Glenmont, we were turning some trains at Rhode Island Avenue and sending them back to Shady Grove. We did lose one train due to a door problem in the 7 a.m. hour."
This afternoon, he said, the game plan is basically the same. "We will throw as many trains out there, monitor service, and if we have to, turn some trains back," Taubenkibel said.
A Red Line rider submitted this report about the morning commute, heading toward Glenmont at about 8:30:
The platform at Gallery Place, which was very crowded yesterday, was empty, and trains seemed to be less than 5 minutes apart instead of 10. I thought "great, I'll take the Red Line" (to Union Station) instead of walking, as I have most days since the Ft. Totten accident. Oops - should have walked again. It appears that Metro's concerns about a backup at Fort Totten were warranted, as we were held 7 minutes at Judiciary Square because of "trains backed up at Ft. Totten."
To his credit, the train operator made an announcement explaining that we would be holding at Judiciary, the reason for the delay and he apologized for not knowing how long we would be delayed ("dispatch hasn't told us.").
Although disappointed in the unexpected delay, my conclusion is that having more trains, even if they are sitting idle at stations, is an improvement in safety and comfort from yesterday's overcrowded platforms.
That sure beats what I heard from Neil Sood about Monday afternoon's commute:
I left work by L'Enfant Plaza today [Monday] at 4:40. I know the walk to Union is about 20 minutes, but I figured that 30 would be more than enough for Metro and it was worth it with today's heat. I check my phone before I entered the station (yes, I chose AT&T, but one carrier these days is still absurd), and see no alerts.
So I continue and make rather good time to Gallery Place (5 min.). When I get there, there are a smattering of people, which I figure means 7 or 8 minutes -- still not
a problem. I wait a bit and then wait some more. Soon, it is too late for me to make the walk and I am forced into waiting for the train. 20 minutes later, the train shows. So, I get on at 5:10. We pull into Union Station at 5:12, but I figure being in the first car I still
have a chance to catch the 5:15 to Frederick. The horde disembarks to find that one of the escalators has been shut down for maintenance. I make it up and out only to get to the platform at 5:17. It's not the end of the world, but I would have been home
before 7. Now, it will be close to 7:30. They cost me 45 min with my daughter.
He said he discovered an eAlert message from Metro that came in at 5:10 p.m. reporting a problem at Friendship Heights. I saw that, too. The message advised riders to expect delays to Glenmont because of a switch malfunction outside Friendship Heights Station.
July 7, 2009; 10:35 AM ET
Categories: Metro | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail delays, Red Line crash
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