Passengers stranded on Orange Line train for two hours

Forty four passengers were stranded Sunday night for two hours on an Orange Line train bound for New Carrollton after the train lost power.

The incident started around 10:30 p.m., when trains running between Cheverly and New Carrollton “started experiencing issues” of losing power, said Dan Stessel, Metro spokesman.

A third train went through the area, lost power and several sets of “collector shoes,” which conduct electricity from the third rail to power the train, broke off after they hit an elevated piece of track along the third rail, according to Stessel.

“That meant several cars didn’t have power, and the train in turn didn’t have power to move,”  Stessel said.

Track workers were sent out to inspect, he said, and found three cracks. The cause of the cracks is still under investigation but is likely related to weather, according to Stessel.

The passengers on the train were moved into the lead rail car, which had power. But because the train was about 500 yards from Cheverly, headed to Landover, passengers were stuck on the train.

Metro Transit Police and area fire responders were sent to check on the condition of the passengers on the train.

Around 11:30 p.m., Metro sent another “rescue” train that customers were able to board and get to New Carrollton and Landover.

Stessel said he “can’t imagine that we charged” the passengers who were stuck when they got off the train considering it was after midnight when they arrived at the stations.

“If we did, I want to hear from them,” he said. “It was a long delay for passengers, and we apologize for that.”

Metro Transit Police gave two people rides who had no other way home, Stessel said.

Track crews went out around 2 a.m. to fix the third rail and finished shortly after 5 a.m. There was no impact to the morning rush hour commute.

Metro said it sent police and fire personnel to check on passengers after an incident this summer on the Green Line where passengers had to evacuate a train that lost power. After that, the transit agency promised that it would notify crews if a train lost power, according to Stessel.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.
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