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Escalator Problems at Rosslyn Metro Station

by ARLnow.com September 7, 2011 at 10:39 am 6,493 22 Comments

The Rosslyn Metro station’s long main escalators and elevators were simultaneously out of service for a period of time this morning, forcing commuters to get some unexpectedly rigorous exercise in order to enter or exit the station, according to TBD.

TBD reported that the escalator outage lasted about an hour.

According to the Washington Post, Metro is planning to hire an outside contractor to help with preventative escalator and elevator maintenance at Orange Line stations in Virginia. One in six escalators are under repair systemwide.

Flickr pool photo by timkelley

  • Lou

    Unrelated (probably), but from the looks of things they are getting ready to knock through the wall on the mezzanine level to start construction at the new elevator discharge area.

    • CW

      Better stand clear when it happens!

  • Lee-n-Glebe

    Seriouisly? 1 in 6 escalators systemwide? That seems like an awfully high percentage. I wonder if it speaks to the quality (or lack thereof) of the escalators themselves, the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of the current preventative maintenance program, or both?

    • Lee-n-Glebe

      Once again, Reading is Fundamental. I actually clicked through and read the Washington Post article – wow. I’m using the stairs from now on.

  • charlie

    i don’t understand why escalators everywhere else are fine — FedEx, MCI Center, shopping malls, etc…
    granted they do take a ton of people, but is it that many more than ride it at Tysons or Pentagon City?

    • Clarendon

      Part of it is probably that the escalators are outside. Some, still do not even have covers over them so rain, leaves, etc get in there making regular maintenance very important. I’d be happy with stairs.

      • Metro No More

        This was the excuse they used before they spent millions on installing those canopies over the entrances. More money wasted.

        • drax

          The canopies came much too late to save the existing escalators. They are money well spent in the long run.

          • Metro No More

            Huh? The canopies been up for over a decade.

          • Clarendon

            There are about 2 dozen without canopies still. The outdoor escalators failure rate is higher than the indoor/protected ones. That shouldn’t surprise anyone.

          • drax

            They’ve been up for eight years or less. And the escalators were out in the weather for 15 to 20 years before that, and many still are.

      • charlie

        and Rosslyn? all but one are covered.

      • wat

        And dirt/mud

        They also run longer than typical mall escalators do, they are much much longer, and have many more people on them at most any given time.

    • PC employee

      Pentagon City has a LONG history with broken escaltors. I’ve seen one too many abrupted stops with people then proceeding to fall down the remainder of the steps after being jolted to a stop. :-/ Not good. (Not saying every high volume place has these issues, age is definitely an issue with them, etc., but just clarifying that since you mention malls and PC specifically, they have similar issues often… it sucks.)

  • Aaron

    There’s a glaring disconnect in the story and it’s not surprising that the Post isn’t trying to fill in the gaps. If the WMATA escalators are so obsolete due to their age and it’s so difficult to train someone to perform routine preventive maintenance on these antiques, then what “private sector” keeps luring away all of the mechanics that Metro invests so much specialized training in? Could they all be going to the Metro contractors that are then hired back to repair the machines that Amalgamated Transit Local 689 lacks the necessary manpower to fix themselves because the employees keep leaving for the so-called private sector?

    This situation looks suspiciously like a revolving door designed to keep boosting wages higher and higher for those both inside and outside the system.

    • Richard Cranium

      I heard that Illuminati Local 564 is behind it.

  • novasteve

    If they actually fixed the escalators, most of them would be out of a job. This is an example of unions and the public sector scamming the taxpayer to “create” jobs. If they didn’t have those unions, they’d be fired for incompetence. I use the 12th and G exit at metro center, which have had broken escalators for 7 years now. If my job performance rate were that bad, i would have been fired after months, not years. 7 years of constantly broken escalators, never both working for more than a few days during those seven years. Completely incompetent.

  • JL

    Was in Rosslyn Metro yesterday afternoon…
    It was so packed that after two Orange Line trains went through and only a tiny handful of people got off/on, I gave up and went out to find a cab home (coming from the airport). Out of the 4 escalators there, only 2 were working, and the elevator was out. Fantastic planning Metro. Lately I feel less inclined to give you my money when you keep jacking up the rates, and all we get in return is less service (although I will concede that their escalator work is designed to improve service…but they work SO slowly at it).

    • Orange Crush

      That escalator work isn’t going to create more room on the Orange Line.

      • JL

        No disagreement here…But of course they plan on running more trains through there and having working escalators might help with the number of riders.

  • Mickey

    Having spent most of 2009-2010 traveling Europe and Asia, from Prague to Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, and Hong Kong, among others, I can say, without a doubt, that the Metro is the WORST in the world! Maintenance is horrible and inexcusable. Maintenance is done on the weekends so tourists are inconveinced. Escalators are down for lengthy periods (VA Square had one down for over 3 months!), lengthy periods between trains on the weekend makes it almost imperative to take a cab, walk, or ride a bike. Drivers don’t speak proper English making them hard to understand. Recommend recordings in the future.

  • smoke_jaguar4

    At what point do mules and pulleys become a viable option?


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