Update: Foggy Bottom Metro Escalators are open again. Police presence remains. Post reports the “unruly subject” was an aggressive panhandler.
Update from the GW Hatchet: Police activity following an altercation led to the escalator shutdown. An “unruly subject” being escorted from GW Hospital tried to grab someone outside, and the recipient of the grab proceeded to pull a knife, cut the grabber, then escape uncaught.
We’re hearing from the tweets that Foggy Bottom Metro has a police situation going on, possibly a stabbing. Metro escalators are taped off and the line for the still-working elevator goes down the block.
While that’s going on, we recommend that any Metro riders about to use Foggy Bottom walk instead to (or from) Farragut West, or catch the Rosslyn Circulator.
(Pic above is from another Foggy Bottom bottleneck incident but pretty much represents the station’s state nowadays even without police situations.)
It’s been a fun (i.e. not fun) morning on Metro, with backups from multiple sick customers on Orange/Blue and Green/Yellow Lines at Rosslyn and L’Enfant Plaza, broken escalators at Dupont Circle, and the standard parade of nonworking air conditioners. Update: Oh, and a switch malfunction at Rosslyn. And a family stuck in the Cleveland Park Metro elevator. Update, 6PM:And an escalator fire at Dupont! Today is the gift that keeps on giving. And by gift we mean not a gift.
For extra enjoyment, here’s a video of people yelling at the Dupont Circle escalators, courtesy wfpman: (after the jump) Continue reading →
(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.
The Orange Line is abuzz with delays. A train has been offloaded for mechanical difficulties at East Falls Church, and another train at Ballston appears to have begun emitting smoke. This would happen right at the peak of rush hour just when hordes of hungover Washingtonians need to be at work for Seis de Mayo. Naturally there is no notification of delays whatsoever on the website.
Update: Since there has been no further buzz or WMATA update I can only assume that the delays are cleared by now.
“We need a doctor,” came the yell. Some of the last words you want to hear on Metro; they indicate that somewhere on the train, someone may be suffering or dying — and of more callous concern, that WMATA’s “Sick Customer” policy goes into effect, stopping the train and triggering cascading delays down the line.
It was Wednesday evening, rush hour. I was at Rosslyn, on the Orange Line to Vienna. The operator announced over the train P.A. that he would be leaving the cab to attend to a sick customer, emergency services had been summoned, and that we would be holding at Rosslyn indefinitely. In the second car of the train, an elderly man in a suit had collapsed from what appeared to be a heart attack, and lay on the floor, unmoving, a doctor examining him while another passenger checked his cellphone for emergency contacts.
Outside, the station P.A. announced delays on both tracks of the Orange Line due to a sick customer at Rosslyn, single-tracking in progress. Then, another announcement that the train at Rosslyn was being offloaded — but no such announcement had been made on the train that I was on. Passengers looked around doubtfully. Shortly after, the operator returned to the cab and announced that, yes, “this train will be offloaded, please board the train that is now arriving upstairs.” Continue reading →
Metro is planning track work this weekend that will affect the Orange, Blue, and Yellow lines. If you’re traveling on the Orange line between Cheverly and Stadium-Armory, add half an hour to your trip because they’re single-tracking. On the Blue line, add half an hour of travel time to your trip because of single tracking and track maintenance between Braddock Road and Van Dorn Street on Saturday and Sunday. Similarly, on the Yellow line, add half an hour of travel time to your trip because of single tracking between Braddock Road and Huntington. All Yellow and Blue trains will go to Huntington, with a special Blue line shuttle train running between Franconia-Springfield and King Street. So if you usually take the train from Franconia-Springfield, I’d recommend just parking at Huntington instead to save yourself an additional transfer.
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.)
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!
In the aftermath of yesterday’s Metro crash I went with my backup plan today of skipping the Red Line in favor of the Orange. A malfunction had just occurred at Eastern Market, causing some delays, but a train arrived soon enough at Capitol South — then was held for ten minutes due to a sick passenger (photographed above). The train got moving faster than expected, however, and as it passed Metro Center I spotted yet another sick passenger being removed from another train on the New Carrolton side. Later still in the day, there was notice of more Orange Line delays due to a sick passenger on the train at Landover. Lots of sick people today.
To WMATA’s credit they got trains moving faster than I expected given the all-manual mode the trains are running in. And I must give kudos to Foggy Bottom Station for having the escalators all running with relative reliability for the past week. Yay.
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.”
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.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for the day when I’d be able to reload my SmarTrip card somewhere other than a Metro station. For those of us who ride buses regularly, it’s really frustrating to have to go to a Metro station to add value to a card when you’re just trying to take the bus somewhere. But there’s great news coming from Metro: later this year, we’ll be able to add value to SmarTrip cards online!
In an effort to improve customer service, Metro will create a self-service SmarTrip website, which will allow us to load value onto our SmarTrip cards electronically. There will also be a fantastic ‘autoload’ feature that will automatically reload the card when the balance drops below a designated amount. The new website will include a way to see recent transaction data for your SmarTrip card (currently only available through a formal Public Access to Record Policy request, or by stealing a glance at the screen when the station manager scans your card in the kiosk).
Fitting that this first Metro video ad should be at a Farragut Square station, considering that pre-reboot Captain Kirk’s first deep space assignment was to the USS Farragut as a young lieutenant. Next on the wish list: holodeck Metrobuses. If that’s too much to ask, I’ll settle for working turbolifts escalators.
McPherson Square Station, by arvidbr (Creative Commons)
Update: Metro reports that the blue and orange lines are back to normal. Just in time for the best part of rush hour. Perhaps today isn’t so unlucky after all!
Dr. Gridlock, from the Washington Post, reported a few minutes ago that McPherson Square Metro Station is closed. It is reported that a Blue Line train hit someone on the tracks at that station.
This means that all Blue and Orange line trains are turning around at this station. There is “bus service” between Farragut West and Federal Triangle, but it might just be faster to walk. No word yet on when the station will be reopened.
Another fun Monday morning for transit, and by “fun” I mean “not fun” — and on Car Free Day too!
At around 8:20 AM, a train with mechanical difficulties caused delays on the Orange Line in the direction of New Carrolton. Around the same time a switch problem backed up the Shady Grove-bound Red Line. Trains were holding for 10-15 minutes (an eternity in transit terms) at stations from Farragut North upward, and platforms packed quickly with rush hour crowds. Right now a “situation that has now been resolved” (earlier, a “sick customer”) at Rosslyn has left residual delays on the Blue and Orange Lines, which are still slowed by the earlier rush hour backup.
To Metro’s credit, once the switch malfunction between Farragut North and Metro Center was resolved, the Red Line got back into a smooth flow pretty quickly, and we had no problems transferring to an Orange Line train afterward.
To cap it off, a friend informs me that MARC trains on the Penn Line were delayed by a conductor suffering a heart attack and needing evac at Bowie State station.
Did the delays hit you on your morning Metro ride? Leave a comment.
Orange Line: Trains are sharing the same track between Federal Center and Eastern Market due to a train experiencing mechanical difficulties at Eastern Market station. Expect delays in both directions.
Red Line: Trains are sharing the same track between Rhode Island Avenue and Fort Totten due to police activity at Brookland station. Expect delays in both directions. Expected duration 30 minutes to 1 hour.