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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 07:38 PM ET, 09/23/2011

A tough commute home for Metro riders

Metrorail riders had a rough commute Friday night as problems flared at Gallery Place and Farragut North, affecting those on the Red, Yellow and Green lines.

Just before 6 p.m., a train that was headed in the direction of Shady Grove along the Red Line had mechanical problems at Farragut North. Two of the rail cars on the train were not completely in the station, according to Metro’s chief spokesman Dan Stessel. The train’s operators tried to “troubleshoot” the problem but couldn’t.

Another train had to push the disabled train into the station. But as the trouble was unfolding, a passenger pulled an emergency door release. That gave an alarm to the operator, Stessel said, and allows the doors to open. No one was hurt in the incident.

Stessel said it took about 35 minutes to resolve the situation, but would have taken 15 minutes if the rider had not pulled the release.

Cars and platforms were packed as riders at Farragut North tried to board other trains.

At 6:09 p.m., in the opposite direction on the Red Line at Gallery Place, another issue occurred.

A train had a brake problem and passengers were off loaded. The incident was taken care of in 10 minutes, according to Stessel, but the combination of two problems on the Red Line sent many commuters scrambling to surface streets to hail cabs or find other ways home.

On the Green and Yellow lines at the lower level of Gallery Place stop, around 5 p.m., there was a report of a “foreign object on the tracks.”

Stessel said “somebody saw something and said something. That’s exactly what we want people to do.”

He said Metro Transit Police responded and trains single-tracked around the station for “several minutes” while the tracks were investigated.

The item — a box — was deemed safe and removed.

“It was a box on the tracks that shouldn’t have been there,” Stessel said.

Later in the evening, Yellow Line riders faced delays due to a report of smoke at the Pentagon Station, and Greater Greater Washington contributor Matt Johnson reported via his Twitter account a disabled train at Prince George’s Plaza on the Green Line.

Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl.

By  |  07:38 PM ET, 09/23/2011

Categories:  Metro

 
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