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Two Metro workers struck and killed early Tuesday; agency expects normal afternoon commute

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12:20 UPDATE: In a Red Line alert, Metro reports that the Shady Grove and Rockville stations have reopened but delays continue.

11:30 A.M. UPDATE: Metro offered the following additional suggestions for riders in its latest press release:

- From Hungerford Drive to Veirs Mill Road, consider Metrobus routes Q4 and Q6. The Q4 operates from the Rockville Metrorail station to the Wheaton, Forest Glen and Silver Spring Metrorail stations every 30 minutes. The Q6 operates from the Shady Grove Metrorail station to the Rockville and Wheaton Metrorail stations every 30 minutes.

- Ride-On route 46. This route serves the Rockville, Twinbrook, White Flint, Grosvenor-Strathmore and Medical Center Metrorail stations every 15 minutes.

10:50 A.M. UPDATE: Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein told The Post's Ann Tyson that the transit agency expects normal service by the afternoon commute. However, Metro planned to finish the track work it started last night.

"Once they pull off the truck [involved in the accident] they have to finish the work that was not done last night. That will take another couple of hours," said Farbstein.

8:40 A.M. UPDATE: Long lines are building up at the Shady Grove and Rockville stations as commuters try to get on shuttle buses. More information available here.

8:30 a.m. UPDATE:
Many more cars than normal at Twinbrook Station. Parking lot on Rockville Pike side of station is full. The parking in back filling quickly.

Northbound trains are being turned around after unloading at Twinbrook. People parking at Twinbrook should take the Twinbrook Parkway entrance and head to the newest lot adjacent to the pedestrian entrance where about 30 spots remained at 8:15.

8:10 a.m. UPDATE:
Metro is suggesting these alternatives to riding the western side of the Red Line this morning.
-- From Hungerford Drive to Veirs Mill Road, consider Metrobus route Q6. The Q6 operates from the Shady Grove Metrorail station to the Rockville, Wheaton, Forest Glen and Silver Spring Metrorail stations every 30 minutes.
-- Ride-On route 46. This route serves the Rockville, Twinbrook, White Flint, Grosvenor-Strathmore and Medical Center Metrorail stations every 15 minutes.
-- MARC Brunswick Line to Washington Union Station. MARC trains depart from the Rockville station at 8:13 a.m., and 8:34 a.m.

Or drive over to Glenmont, Wheaton or Silver Spring stations and park there. The garages around the Silver Spring Station are not Metro garages. They have meters. Bring lots of quarters.

6:45 A.M. UPDATE:
Delays are expected to continue throughout the morning rush hour due to the lack of Red Line trains between the Shady Grove and Rockville stations. While Metro will provide free shuttle bus service to customers, Metro warned that riders should expect long waits for shuttle bus service, since the buses can only carry 50 passengers (compared to 800 passengers on a six-car train). Passengers are encouraged by Metro to avoid the Shady Grove and Rockville stations and opt for Twinbrook and Grosvenor-Strathmore if possible.

Metro also reported that the two Metro employees were struck by a "high rail truck, a large truck that is equipped with special wheels that allow it to drive on the track when electricity that usually powers trains is taken down," according to a Metro press release.

The employees were Automatic Train Control Technicians and were installing new train control equipment in the track bed along the outbound section of Red Line track heading towards Shady Grove. One employee died at the scene, while the other was taken to an area hospital and died later as a result of injuries from the accident.

National Transportation Safety Board officials are on the scene along with Metro Transit Police.

Meanwhile, MARC trains are operating as normal, the Maryland Transit Administration reported this morning.

ORIGINAL POST:
Two Metro track workers were struck and killed by a piece of equipment early this morning near the Rockville station, shutting down a stretch of the Red Line while the accident is investigated.

The employees, both males who have not been identified until their next of kin can be contacted, were working on an outbound section of track on the Red Line heading towards Shady Grove. At about 1:45 a.m., they were struck by a prime mover, a diesel-powered piece of equipment used to move heavy equipment, Metro reported the Metro Transit Police determining earlier this morning.

For commuters, this will mean delays throughout the morning rush hour. While the investigation into the accident takes place, Red Line trains will operate between Glenmont and Twinbrook. But there will be no Red Line trains between Shady Grove and Rockville, though Metro is providing free shuttle bus service to help customers traveling between Shady Grove, Rockville and Twinbrook.

By Mark Berman  |  January 26, 2010; 5:47 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Metro  
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Next: Long lines for buses at Shady Grove and Rockville stations

Comments

Metro still can't manage to communicate! At the start of morning service no notice had been made to news organizations about the delays. I arrived at Shady Grove only to be put on a shuttle bus headed to Rockville. When the metro supervisor riding the bus was asked if we could catch a train at Rockville she told us that we could. Once we got to Rockville the station manager was hunkered down in his little cube and refusing to come out to help riders. A call into the transit police was met with belligerence for asking a simple question like what is the first station that is open? I ended up having to take a cab to get to Twinbrook to get a train. Metro is just downright incompetent with all the deaths and communications breakdowns. At this rate were going to get stuck with a fare increase just so they can pay their insurance premiums!

Posted by: Razor04 | January 26, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Also why did it take 4 hours for the NTSB to start investigating. This took place at 1:45 in the moring. What was anybody doing between 2:00 am and the beginning of rush hour?

Posted by: ehardwick | January 26, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

My guess is that the NTSB was sleeping during that time and it takes a while to get people together during the middle of the night ot investigate an accident. Thankfully these don't happen so often that they need to be on stand-by 24/7.

What amazes me is that metro personnel directing people didn't have their information straight. That is completely unaccetable!

Posted by: GlenBurnie | January 26, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

If Metro wants to reduce crowding they need to start killing passengers again, not just track workers.

Posted by: member5 | January 26, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

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