Disabled Metro train causes massive delays on Orange and Blue lines

Updated at 9:35 p.m.:

A disabled train disrupted Metro’s Blue and Orange line service from the District into Virginia during the middle of Wednesday’s evening commute, stranding dozens of passengers and causing massive delays for hours at downtown stations, Metro officials said.

A problem with the train’s brakes forced the operator to stop just outside the Clarendon station about 5:40 p.m., the officials said. The driver and train repair crews were unable to resolve the issue, which left passengers on board for about two hours, before they were able to board a new train and continue to other Virginia stops.

“It was obviously a very frustrating evening for our blue and orange line passengers,” said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel. “We apologize for the delays and inconvenience.”

Officials were forced to single track remaining Orange Line trains between Foggy Bottom and Clarendon stations, while Blue Line trains did the same between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery.

East of the incident, platforms and stations were packed with passengers who faced delays of an hour or more, officials said. Many passengers reported waiting 90 minutes or more for trains and commutes that took up to three hours. Transit police were called to stations as part of protocol, to prevent falls onto tracks and to keep crowds moving safely through the stations, Stessel said.

Normal service restarted about 7:20 p.m., but delays continued for passengers for at least an hour after officials removed the broken train.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.

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