Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Metro Disaster

It started out as a normal commuter home and turned into something very different.

I left work at my normal time. I walked to Metro Center. I new right away that something was wrong. From the top of the escalator, I saw the platform was completely full of people. In a couple of minutes there was an announcement that there was a problem train at the Tenleytown stop.

After about 10 minutes or so, a trained pulled into the station. It was of course completely full of people. In this situation I always find it amusing that people try and cram themselves on to the train when there is essential no room. I decided to wait and see how things developed. The next train came in and it was the same thing. Then there was another one but still no room.

I'd hoped that the fourth time would be the charm. But unfortunately many minutes passed until the next train came into the station. Packed again. Finally, I went toward the end of the platform and finally got on. A few minutes before this was the announcement of problems between Fort Totten and Takoma. The collision had happened (but none of us knew it at the time).

We started on our way. We held at the next station which is Gallery Place. Also at Judiciary Square. Then between that station and Union Station we were stuck in the tunnel. I would say we were between stations for at least 15 minutes probably closer to 20. We finally got into Union Station. There we received an announcement from the train operator.

There was problem between Fort Totten and Takoma. This train would be going out of service at Rhode Island Ave. (which just so happens to be my stop). Or it might go out of service even sooner at New York Ave. We then left Union Station.

Once you are out of Union Station the train goes above ground. Many people got out there cell phones. I made a couple calls to people at work to tell about the mess on the Red Line. It was then that I learned what really had happened between Fort Totten and Takoma. Other people chimed in and said there'd been an accident and at least two people had been killed.

We finally got to Rhode Island Ave. Everyone exited the train. There were buses waiting to take people to other stations. Some people that would have gotten off at Brookland, the next stop, decided just to walk.

I finally got home about an hour and twenty minutes late. But at least I got home; some people weren't so lucky.

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