Customers stuck on Red Line early Sunday

About 100 passengers were stuck aboard a train early Sunday on the Red Line for more than an hour, Metro officials said.

The incident began after a train had a brake problem outside of the Tenleytown-AU stop around 12:20 a.m., and the train operator could not fix it. A rescue train was sent to move the broken train, but customers had to sit on the train for 80 minutes before they were led off through the rescue train, Metro officials said.

Dan Stessel, a Metro spokesman, said Metro Transit police and rail supervisors boarded the train to make sure passengers were okay. He said there were fewer than 100 passengers on board the train.

The incident came after the transit agency had another issue on Saturday. A train derailed on the Red Line just as it was leaving the Brentwood rail yard. No one was injured in that incident, officials said.

Metro officials were quick to point out the incidents happened at a busy time for Metro with the spring tourist season in full swing. On Saturday, Metro said it carried 503,400 passengers, making it the busiest Saturday of the year.

“If you were on that train you had every right to be frustrated and expect more from us,” Stessel said Monday morning of the incident that stranded about 100 passengers. “It was an unfortunate delay, and we are very sorry for it. But that said, the rest of the day went very smoothly.”

Metro has received harsh criticism for not better communicating with passengers in crisis when trains have become stranded. In January, hundreds of passengers got off a stranded train in a tunnel near Anacostia after the train lost power.

I'm a Washington Post reporter, working an early morning shift that deals with crime, lottery winners, traffic, you name it.
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