There were two problems on the Red Line this morning:
Trains are sharing a track between the Grosvenor and Friendship Heights stations due to a track problem at the Medical Center stop. It is unknown how long the delays will last.And added to the fun and games was the fact that trains traveling north were skipping the Bethesda station. That was announced, Bethesda being closed, while I was waiting for a train at the Rhode Island Avenue stop. It wasn't mentioned again until the train I was on got to Friendship Heights, the stop before Bethesda.
There is single-tracking between the Dupont Circle and Van Ness stops due to a track problem at the Woodley Park station.
If people wanted to get to Bethesda, they needed to go to the next station, Medical Center. Get off at that station and then take a south bound train and get off Bethesda that way.
Lots of people trying to get downtown at the Medical Center stop. Trains were sharing one track so that added to the confusion. Adding to the crowding was the delays caused by single tracking. It meant the trains coming into the Medical Center station were packed. And I mean packed. There was very little room for people to get on.
I waited for the second train to come. We'd been told by Metro employees that there would be two trains in a row coming into the station. I will say, at least at this stop, Metro did a good job of letting people know what was going on. There were plenty of announcements over the PA system. There were also employees on the platform letting people know what was going on. I do have one suggestion and that is they invest in some bull horns so more people can hear what they are saying.
The second train comes into the station. It is just as crowded as the first. I was up towards the front of the train so I decided to head to the back. I walked all the way to the end. Lucky for me there was an issue with closing the doors. I was able to find some space and hop on the last car.
In all it took almost two hours to get to work.
I have a feeling this is a taste of what is to come with the Safe Track plan. More on that in an upcoming post.