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Foggy Bottom Escalator Backup

(Thanks to peroty for the mobile photo and heads-up)

If you’re aiming to get into or out of Foggy Bottom Metro station on the Orange Line this morning, be warned that at the moment two escalators are closed, and the only open escalator is going up. This, and one broken platform escalator, make getting out difficult, and getting in pretty much impossible (unless you like lining up for the elevator).

Alternatives: Farragut West, or Rosslyn + blue bus or 38B. We have, of course, been here before.

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The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

Metro Train Door Opens. Halfway. On Wrong Side. On Moving Train. In Tunnel.

Orange Line train door only half-open

The photo above is not of the door in question, but the Washington Post and NBC Washington tell us “the left panel in the middle door of a middle car came open and that the door closed as soon as the operator hit the brakes” on the Orange Line at rush hour yesterday, while the train was moving between stations. Fortunately no one fell out, and Metro is “investigating.” (Hat tip to UnsuckDCMetro Twitter.)

Foggy Bottom, The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

Foggy Bottom Platform Escalator Fail

Foggy Bottom Platform Escalator Fail
Originally uploaded by brownpau

So you know how the Foggy Bottom Station escalators are actually a two-layered system of bottlenecks? Today the platform-to-mezzanine bottleneck was made worse by one of the two up escalators being blocked off (at rush hour with no work being done on it at the time, natch) so that hordes of work-bound Metro riders had to cram on to one single escalator. Good thing there wasn’t a fire. Thanks, Metro!

The Daily Feed, WMATA

Monday Morning Metrofail: Orange and Blue Lines

No Passengers

Orange and Blue Line riders had a hellish commute this morning thanks to a train down due to mechanical difficulties at Foggy Bottom station, causing single-tracking and trains held at stations up and down both lines in both directions. I waited on a Vienna-bound Orange Line train at Metro Center for about twenty minutes before wising up and getting on a taxi. You know it’s bad when the train operator doesn’t even use the word “momentarily.”

Unsuck DC Metro has collected TWITTER RAAAGE from the delays.

Update: From Get There blog, Orange Line problems explained. A combination of brake problems and communications dead zones led to a fifty-one minute delay on the failed Orange Line train before a Blue Line train could come within range to pick up communications. Both trains had to be offloaded before one could push the other to a rail yard.

The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

The horn on the train goes BEEEEEEEEEEEP…

(This is a video. You can play it. Listen for the horn!)

Piled on top of this morning’s Red Line woes, this train on the Red Line appeared to have its horn stuck in “VERY LOUD ON” mode, constantly blowing without stopping. (Insert clever ‘your mom’ joke here.) I got on at Union Station, got off at Metro Center, and that horn never stopped blaring through the tunnels and stations the whole time. Anyone else get to ride on the Eternal Horn Metro train this morning?

The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

Doors Opening – Step Back if You Don’t Want to be Shocked?

Here’s a video I took Tuesday night on the Metro of an electrical locker swinging open and shut as the train moved. Looks like someone didn’t close the doors properly, and I was wondering just how dangerous it was to have all these sensitive electronics and switches and leads exposed. This was on Blue Line train #3262AC. I’ve read enough about WMATA rolling stock to know that this is one of the Alstom-rehabilitated Breda cars, but I need a WMATA engineer or some other DC transit railfan to tell me what kind of systems are in this locker, specifically. Anyone know?

(And should I have hit the emergency call button? I don’t know if it was safe, but no one was touching it, and I was already at my stop and didn’t want to put the train out of service and cause cascading delays up and down the Blue and Orange Lines.)

The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

Foggy Bottom Metro Escalators Broken Again

As of December 15th and till today, two out of three street-level escalators at Foggy Bottom Metro station are closed. Only one narrow escalator serves double duty as up/down stairs for rush hour crowds. It’s an outrage and an unmitigated catastrophe in progress, but still nothing new to this beleaguered Metro station. This means more lines, more crowding, more walking down broken steps. Avoid it if you can: use this handy map to find alternative Metro station entrances. More on this from Dr. Gridlock.

Update: As of about 7PM, the middle escalator has been opened, but only as stairs, with escalator #3 going up. There was no backup or bottleneck; how was it for you?

The Daily Feed

MARC Commuter Alert: Major Delays on Penn Line


Via WaPo’s Get There blog, an alert for MARC Penn Line Riders: major electrical system damage near Landover has left only one of three tracks open for inbound and outbound commuter trains, so MARC’s going to be a mess.

MTA MD’s official MARC alert page says Metro will honor MARC tickets to New Carrollton to get past the rail bottleneck.

Baltimore-bound riders may also want to consider the Camden Line tonight, or, as a last resort, the Green Line to Greenbelt, then B30 Bus to BWI, and Light Rail from there.

Foggy Bottom, The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

The Eternally Receding Horizon of Metro Escalator Repair Deadlines

Still Broken

I don’t even remember what date WMATA originally put on the repair notice when they closed the middle escalator of Foggy Bottom back in summer. I just knew that there was a 100% chance of them changing that date as soon as it came close. Sure enough, they changed it to Nov 29th. And when Nov 29th rolled by, naturally the repair deadline became Dec 19th. Will they make that deadline?

Of course not. Watch for when they bump that date to late December or early January, as the on-again-off-again nightmare of Foggy Bottom traffic bottleneck management continues.

Foggy Bottom, The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

Foggy Bottom Metro Line

I post about this altogether too much, but here we go again: epic lines to enter the Foggy Bottom Metro Station because of a rush hour escalator bottleneck. Of three escalators, one is closed for repairs till Nov 29th, one seems to be up-only, and the remaining nonworking one is split between down and up lanes. The result: a forked pair of lines stretching down the block in either direction.

I skipped the scene altogether and walked to Farragut West instead.

The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

Broken Escalator Glass at Metro Center

Broken Escalator Glass, Metro Center
Originally uploaded by brownpau

I’m not sure what happened here. Angry Metro rider? Angry Redskins fan? Angry that the escalator wasn’t working? Rush hour jostling accident? General horseplay incident? Repair work flub? In any case, this escalator from the lower level of Metro Center to the Glenmont-bound Red Line platform has been closed for two weeks, and is now likely to stay closed for a bit longer while they replace the broken glass.

Foggy Bottom, The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

Foggy Bottom Metro Escalator Alert

It never ends. It only gets lulzier! We are in receipt of the following alert from Transportation Incident. Disruption at Foggy Bottom-GWU. (All of the station’s entrance escalators are out of service due to mechanical difficulties. Shuttle bus service has been established. The station’s elevator is operational, the station remains open).

We already knew all the escalators were out but if only one is open (not clear from the alert) then that means a possible line outside the station at rush hour like we had on Monday. Click through the jump to see a map of alternative ways home if you want to skip the shuttle bus.

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Foggy Bottom, Talkin' Transit, The Daily Feed, WMATA

Metro Escalator Update – Foggy Bottom and Capitol South

Quick update on the Foggy Bottom Metro escalators: Friday’s mess was the result of a passenger’s footwear getting stuck on the middle escalator that afternoon, closing it down in addition to the already-under-repair first escalator, so that only one escalator was left open to serve as stairs. As of today, two escalators are open but shut down, both serving as stairs. Continue reading

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Foggy Bottom Metro Escalator Mess: AGAIN

Foggy Bottom Metro escalators have done it again, this time at the height of the Friday afternoon rush, and I have once again gotten video of the mess:

Last time this happened, only one escalator was barricaded, so desperate riders could at least scamper up the opposing escalator. Today, two were blocked, so only one shut-down escalator was available to serve as narrow stairs for both ascending and descending foot traffic. The result: crowds above and below. Epic fail once more.

Metro police and station personnel were on hand to do what little they could, but that didn’t seem to do much to thin the mass of people. And, as before — after taking this video, I didn’t bother waiting in line; it was faster to just walk the two blocks to Farragut West Station.

This is pretty bad, WMATA. Why have escalators at all if your contractors can’t even maintain them?

Foggy Bottom, Talkin' Transit, WMATA, WTF?!

Foggy Bottom Metro Escalator Mess

Big mess at Foggy Bottom this morning. Watch this video:

Foggy Bottom is the singularly worst-designed Metro station I’ve used in the system: only one exit, twin escalators going up together from platform to mezzanine, and just a single escalator going down to the platform, no stairs, traffic bottlenecks all over the place. The situation was made worse this morning when only one of three mezzanine-to-street-level escalators was working — going down. The middle escalator was closed for repairs, and the escalator going up was open but off, serving as stairs. I’ve seen it like that before, but throw in a rush hour crowd in a time of “high” fuel crisis ridership, and you get a foot traffic disaster.

I didn’t even bother joining the line; it was faster to go back in, double back to Farragut West, and walk from there. When I got back to Foggy Bottom to get some video of people emerging from the system, a few daring riders had resorted to running up against the down escalator — to cheers from the crowd, surprisingly.

WMATA, This is intolerable. You have reached a new level of EPIC ESCALATOR FAIL this morning — even worse than on epic multifail day.

Update: I was on TV today for this video: Fox 5 News Edge story, featuring a quick interview with me outside Foggy Bottom station this afternoon. Washington Post’s “Get There” blog also covers the story: No Way Up at Foggy Bottom, and Clearing Out Foggy Bottom.