Posts Tagged ‘WMATA’

Metro Crash Aftermath: Expect Commute From Hell This Morning

Here’s the official from WMATA, complete with everything you need to know about commuting on Tuesday:

Red Line service will be severely impacted on Tuesday, June 23, as a result of a fatal collision on the Red Line on Monday, June 22, between the Fort Totten and Takoma Metrorail stations.

Red Line riders will have several options on Tuesday morning, however if they are able to avoid the Red Line, that may be the best option for Tuesday.

The Red Line will be operating in two sections on Tuesday. Trains will run back and forth between the Glenmont and Silver Spring Metrorail stations and between the Shady Grove and the Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood Metrorail station. All trains will be six- and eight-car trains on the Red Line and they will be running about 8 to 10 minutes apart. Trains are expected to be very crowded.

The Brookland-CUA, Fort Totten and Takoma Metrorail stations will be closed to Red Line traffic.

Free Metrobus shuttles will be available to take customers around the incident between the Silver Spring, Fort Totten, Brookland-CUA, Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood and Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metrorail stations. People can expect long waits for buses as a full Metrorail train often carries 100 people or more per car and a bus can only hold about 50 people at a time.

Metro officials recommend that customers who normally use the Red Line between the Glenmont and Silver Spring Metrorail stations should commute to Metrorail stations between the Shady Grove and Grosvenor-Strathmore Metrorail stations, or to use the following Metrobus lines to avoid the service disruption:

• Metrobus C8 line (Glenmont to White Flint)
• Metrobus Q2 line (Wheaton to Rockville)
• Metrobus C2, C4 line (Wheaton to Twinbrook)
• Metrobus J1 line (Silver Spring to Medical Center)
• Metrobus J2, J3, J4 line (Silver Spring to Bethesda)
• Metrobus L7, L8 line (Friendship Heights)

Metro officials also recommend that people utilize the Green Line from Greenbelt to the Fort Totten Metrorail station for service into downtown DC.

Metro Crash On Red Line Between Takoma And Ft. Totten Stations

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Be careful Red Line Metro Riders! RT @metro_man Red line crashed!

That was the tweet I got from MeggiePoo as I wrapped things up at my office. I wrote it off as a routine fender bender that causes most of the Metro Fails we all experience on a daily basis. I drive home from my office down the street to my home, thinking how lucky I am not to be stuck in the Metro system.

I arrived home and turn on NBC4 to see the dramatic image of two Metro trains collide and stack on top of each other. I listen and watch while eating dinner and started to take it all in. Mid-bite I realized that the accident happened on the same line my roommate takes from her Silver Spring office back home to Arlington. I drop my things and run to my cell phone.

Those were the longest 90 seconds of my life as I waited to see if she would answer.

My roommate finally did, she missed that train by five minutes and was stuck on the platform, however she was safe and found a ride home.

Here’s what we know now (see update below)

  • At least 4 people are dead (one confirmed to be a female WMATA employee- a train operator), over 100 are injured
  • One train has appeared to rear end the other- this is not a head to head collision
  • There have been reports that there was track work scheduled on the Red Line earlier today
  • FBI is on the scene to assist but there is no reason to suspect that this was a criminal act
  • The rest of the lines appear to be working but they are moving slow
  • Adrian Fenty will hold a press conference soon

Here’s the official word from WMATA:

A six-car Red Line train headed in the direction of Shady Grove derailed between the Takoma and Fort Totten Metrorail stations today and was involved in a collision with another train at 5 p.m. today, Monday, June 22.

Metro officials advise that people avoid the Red Line this afternoon. Trains are operating between Glenmont and Takoma Metrorail and between Shady Grove and Brookland stations for the remainder of the day.

There are preliminary reports of injuries on board, some serious. Emergency officials are responding to the scene.

This being said- avoid the Red Line at all costs.

Twitter has been crazy and DCist is all over the situation.

As I return to watch more, my hopes and prayers go out to everyone in the District- I hope everyone makes it back home safe!

UPDATE 8:59 PM: As the night winds down let’s do a recap and review of the latest

  • A correction on an earlier title of the post, the Metro crash occurred on the Red Line between the Takoma and Ft. Totten Stations.
  • More detail and the actual accident: around 5 PM today a train was waiting on the tracks for the platform ahead to open up when another train slammed into it from behind. The trains were six-car trains and were headed in the same direction. The female operator of the trailing train died.
  • The Washington Post reports that at least six people are dead and scores of passengers are injured and are being described as “walking wounded” in what is being called the deadliest accident in Metro history. The last time two trains crashed was back in November 2004.
  • The Metro is still operating between Glenmont and Silver Spring and between Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue. Around the accident scene Metro is offering a shuttle bus service.
  • If you are seeking information on anyone that may have been riding on those trains should call the Metro Emergency Information line at 202-737-4404. If you live in Washington DC you can also call 311.
  • Metro reports that the sections of the Red Line where the accident occurred will be closed through tomorrow, so plan your commutes accordingly.

Here is video of the Mayor’s press conference earlier tonight:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGdew-OF7JE[/youtube]

After the Mayor was on, the Metro Chief provided more details on the accident:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VT23UJR-tg[/youtube]

Metrobus Gets A Facelift

I’m not a bus person.

Neither was Ludacris in the film “Crash”. Growing up in suburban New England, the bus was never a big part of my life and I’m more of a Metro person now that I live in the city. I do occasionally enjoy the DC Circulator when my friends drag me on it (thanks Cynthia.)

However lots of people do ride the Metrobus and this past week people riding on the U8 line might have noticed an upgraded ride taking them to their daily grind. According to the Washington Post, the new sleek buses will be outfitted with amenities like vandal-resistant seats (cause I hate it when I have to sit on a gang symbol) and handhold straps (in case the vandal-resistant seats do get vandalized.) Right now WMATA is phasing them in slowly and hopefully we can see them in action on the 5A route that runs between L’enfant and Dulles.

I think the busses look really great and maybe it’ll make riding the bus cool enough that maybe I’ll even do it. Has anyone out there seen the new busses yet?

Today’s WMATA Commute Pain: Red Line to Tardyville

Now that my commute to work is shortened to a quick stroll from the kitchen to my home office, I’m not so in touch with the morning rush. But that doesn’t mean I forgot the pain involved with a message like this from Alert DC:

Metro is reporting delays of over an hour on the Red Line. A small fire on the tracks in the Metro Center area has been put out, but major delays continue. Additionally, at least Dupont Circle, Shaw-Howard U, Farragut North, Farragut West and McPherson Square Metrorail stations have no power due to an unrelated power outage. Non-Red Line service is operating normally in those stations, but with low (emergency) lighting.

While I think the view in the stations would be pretty cool for some station photography – masses of people waiting in low lighting, an almost Orwellian feel if you find the right depressed look – I think it best to follow the last direction from Alert DC:

Avoid Metrorail entirely if you were planning to use the Red Line.

Happy Friday, everyone!

This can’t be good: Metro All Lines alert

This just in from the Metro Alert system:

Disruption at All Stations. (Expect delays in the Metrorail system due to a system-wide signaling problem.)

Signaling problem? Yikes… I can’t wait to get on for the ride home!

Update:

New alert:

Disruption at All Stations was cleared. Thank you for riding Metro.

I don’t think I feel much better about this. What do you think? Eager to get on a train today?

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