WASHINGTON (WJZ)—A lot of D.C. Metro riders found themselves looking for other ways to get to work this morning.
Alex DeMetrick reports, a derailed train derailed the system.
A tunnel is the worst place to derail, but that’s what D.C. Metro repair crews were dealing with just before the morning commute.
“We send out over 100 trains in the morning. This train was going through the switch and getting ready to go into service,” said Jack Requa, Interim D.C. Metro general manager.
Meaning no passengers and no injuries, but plenty of messed up commutes as much of the system shut down.
“I came from Tyson and it’s been a problem there. Trying to get here and they’re off loading us here,” one rider explained.
D.C. used bus bridges to move passengers to other stations, but it was slow going waiting for a seat and it jammed up stations that were open.
“So we had to get off at the McPherson Square stop and came here. So we been waiting quite awhile. It’s a pretty long line,” said Jamari Green.
Today’s derailment may be a big inconvenience, but it’s not the only one.
Last May, Metro riders found trains stopped and stations emptied after smoke was reported in a tunnel. A small electrical fire forced riders onto buses. There were no injuries, but an abundance of caution, because smoke in a D.C Metro tunnel in January killed one woman and sent dozens to the hospital.
Today’s derailment was a long way from being this serious.
“The cars have not impacted any of the tunnels or infrastructure. So we have to wait for the trains are moved to see what damage there might be to the car or to the switch,” Requa said.
As to the damage done to the Metro’s reputation.
“We stand here now, delayed and late for work and gonna lose some pay, as a result of we’re waiting for one bus at a time, to herd us like cattle to work,” one rider said.
The transit agency says orange, blue and silver line trains will be sharing a single track between six busy downtown stations until further notice. The Smithsonian and Federal Triangle stations remain closed.
Metro says there will be significant delays on all three lines during the afternoon rush hour. Shuttle buses are being provided.