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Orange Line Delays This Morning

by ARLnow.com April 26, 2011 at 8:57 am 3,432 28 Comments

There were significant delays on the Orange Line this morning thanks to a train malfunction in the District.

A train malfunction at McPherson Square forced trains to single track through the station, backing up Orange and Blue Line trains heading into the District from Arlington.

Metro reports that the disabled train has since been cleared, but that delays are continuing in both directions.

Adding to the Metro woes, medics were just dispatched to the Rosslyn Metro station for a report of a sick customer.

  • CW

    It’s amazing how the metro “failure cascade” happens. Trains break down, delays ensue, delays result in packed trains, packed trains lead to fainting, epileptic seizures, vomiting, etc. I can recall probably 5 different times in which someone has had a fainting incident or seizure; all of them were in extemely packed cars usually resulting from prior delays.

    • novasteve

      Probably because they leave the doors open in the train, and the hot air from the stations gets in during the long delays when trains are broken ahead… They don’t bother air conditioning the stations anymore. For those who are natives, do you remember how cold the stations would be during the summer?

    • Stephanie

      That is exactly what happened this morning. I was on the train and caught the poor woman who fainted. It is a cascade of events but it all stems from the trains being waaaaay too packed. I don’t know what the answer is, but tomorrow I am driving.

  • novasteve

    I was on that train this morning. At Farragut West it was delayed leaving, you could hear weird noises, and I was expecting the driver to offload us at Farragut West, but he went on, and announced as we got to McPherson that it was out of service. I knew it wasn’t moving anywhere, so I got out and walked to Metro Center. Been a while since a train has broken down on me, I’m sure we’ll go back to normal and this will happen several times a week. Yesterday had a sick passenger, so it’s two days in a row with problems. Also, the list of elevator outages they announced made me chuckle. It might take less time if they just announce the ones that are working.

  • Joe

    This is why Capital Bikeshare is great. We all know Metro fails routinely. This way, for short jaunts you’re better off biking than chancing a bus or train’s arrival. Then, if there’s a big backup during rush hour, you can hop off in Rosslyn and bike to your destination in the District.

    Ideal? No. But sitting on a packed train with no A/C will also leave you sweaty–as well as miserable. Your choice.

  • ArlLiver4

    Capital bikeshare would come in handy today — although the few bikes would have been gone downhill.

    • PhilL

      I can’t wait to see the races for the bikes when Metro bogs down. I think I read somewhere that the total planned bike rollout for the R-B corridor is around 200. That’s a little more than one rail car filled to capacity. The bikes are a great option for about 2 minutes, then they run out of bikes.

  • OX4

    What Orange Line? Had a great CaBi ride from Foggy Bottom to Penn Quarter today.

  • Aaron

    A minor request: these stories, along with the traffic incidents in general, tend to be much more informative if they convey what time the delay(s) began and when they were resolved. Thanks!

  • My train was about 15 minutes late, got to work at 9:30 instead of 9:15. It’s funny how people FREAK OUT when their Metro is 15 minutes late, when for drivers losing 15 minutes to traffic on a regular basis is pretty much taken for granted.

    • Agent Michael Scarn


      I was on the train that broke down at McPherson Square and had a rather pleasant stroll to work on a beautiful spring morning.

    • Southeast Jerome

      Yes but being delayed 15 minutes in your car with AC, music, cell phone service and no sweaty people all up in your personal space is much better than being on the metro. the metro sucks but it sucks even more during the summer

      • dynaroo

        Actually, depending on the circumstances (if I have a seat on Metro, how crowded it is) I’d much rather be stuck on Metro. I can read the newspaper or a book while I wait. Driving a car, I’d have to pay attention, and my foot would get tired from the stop and go. I can stretch and move on a train too (unless it’s packed). And you can listen to music on Metro too, you know.

        • CW

          If you’re alluding to the concept of having a seat on metro, then you don’t belong on ARLnow!

          • OX4

            Right. If you’re talking about how you enjoy sitting and reading on the Orange Line, you probably belong on the VIENNAnow message boards.

          • dynaroo

            I don’t often get a seat coming in, but I frequently get a seat going home on the Orange.

          • dynaroo

            I get a seat sometimes. Someone always does.

      • I had AC. I got cell service. I could’ve listened to music. If you prefer being alone, that’s fine, but that’s a personal choice, not Metro’s fault.

      • PhilL

        Not to mention the capability of my car to take me on an alternative route. Flexibility and freedom.

        • OX4

          Flexibility and freedom, yours for only $4.50 per gallon!

          • Tabby


        • dynaroo

          Right, because nobody else is taking the same alternate routes, because they all prefer to sit in traffic while you zoom past.

          • PhilL

            Of course everybody else takes the same set of alternate routes if there is an accident ahead on their primary route. How silly, did you think I meant it was just my own private alternate route? I’m sorry if I gave that impression although I do not know how you would have come to that conclusion, there is no logic there.

            Regardless however, one alternate route option for my car is more than WMATA offers me in a tunnel.

        • dynaroo

          If you’re on a highway, you might have to wait a while to reach the exit, and then still fight off all the other drivers with the same idea.

          On the other hand, sometimes you can just get off Metro and walk or ride a bus or take a cab or use a CaBi bike….

          • PhilL

            Yes I agree, but by your logic you would also have to compete for rental bikes and taxis and crowded buses with all the other people who abandon Metro at the next available stop.

            The only true self determined mode is to just walk. And if you can walk, why are you on Metro?

          • Because it’s faster and easier? Is this a trick question? 🙂

    • Andrew

      Just because your train was only delayed about 15 minutes does not mean everybody experienced the same. It took me closer to 30 minutes longer than normal.

  • novasteve

    So many of the liberals, esp. arlington talk about using pulic transport etc, to save the world, etc. Our public transport here is HORRIBLY unreliable. It gets worse in the summer due to the heat. I dont’ know if any of you people remember, but back in the summer of 1997, there were constant breakdowns due to the heat and their computers. Every day there were big delays because of this. I had some crap job where if you were one minute late you go tinto major trouble. Metro was too unreliable for jobs like this, and still is. Fortunately I come in whenever I want now, so it’s not an inssue for me, but it is an issue for other people. If you are trying to encourage us to not use cars, then provide a working alternative? At least on the metro you can entertain yourself by reading all the elevator outages on the arrival display, there’s plenty to read.


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