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John Kelly's Washington

Answer Man: Red Means Don't Go

By John Kelly
Monday, January 17, 2005; Page C13

Last Monday, a reader asked Answer Man what the flashing lights on the outside of Metro cars were for. A Metro spokeswoman said the lights help the train operator tell whether the doors are shut: The lights burn green when the doors are open and red when closed.

No, no, no! They are red when the doors are open and go off when the doors are closed. Answer Man is red with embarrassment.

_____Children's Campaign_____
Washington Post columnist John Kelly is raising money for the Children's National Medical Center, one of the nation's leading pediatric hospitals. You may make a tax-deductible contribution online anytime between Nov. 29th and Jan. 21st. Thank you for your support.
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It turns out that these aren't the only lights on Metro trains. And so to atone for last week's flub, today we offer the complete guide to Metro train warning lights.

Not every car has every light in the exact same place -- there are five types of Metro trains, from the 1000 series to the 5000 series -- but they are roughly comparable.

Why all the lights, including ones the driver can't see? They are useful diagnostic tools for technicians brought in to fix a broken train.

Chugging Along for Children's

The train is leaving on our Children's Hospital campaign. Friday is the last day I'll be devoting space in my column to our noble effort to raise $600,000 to pay the bills of families who can't afford to. So far, we've raised $419,775.54.

Here's how you can make a tax-deductible contribution:

Make a check or money order payable to "Children's Hospital" and mail it to Washington Post Campaign, P.O. Box 17390, Baltimore, Md. 21297-1390.

To contribute by credit card online, go to www.washingtonpost.com/childrenshospital and click on "Make a Donation." You'll be greeted by a pop-up that takes you right to the donation page.

To contribute by Visa or MasterCard by phone, call Post-Haste at 301-313-2200, then punch in KIDS and follow the instructions.

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