For the third time in a week, Metro’s orange line was a mess during the evening commute. According to Metro’s press release (which was not online when I left the office at 5:00), the cause was a
heat “kink” in the rails that was discovered at 3:15 p.m. between the East Falls Church and Ballston Metrorail stations. A heat kink is a bend in the rails due to high temperatures.
A heat kink?!? Kink is now a technical term?
The release says continues by stating that trains are currently sharing a single track and that passengers should expect delays of 30 minutes or more. Shuttle buses are also available.
Here was my commute home. I arrived at the Court House station at 5:00; waited for a few minutes for a train; boarded train; stood on train that did not leave the station for five minutes before hearing announcement that shuttle buses would take passengers from Ballston to the four remaining stops; exited the train to see when the next train was going towards DC (the opposite direction for me); saw that nothing was happening; exited Court House station; took Arlington bus to Rosslyn station; took blue line train to Pentagon; took bus to the park and ride; drove home. Total time: 1 hour and 45 minutes, although I was moving for much of the commute.
As shown above, at some point, Metro went from only shuttle buses to buses and a single track. It’s entirely possible that they were single-tracking the entire time, but after last week’s experience, as soon as I heard shuttle bus, I was done. I should have listened to my own advice and drove to work again today like I did yesterday. I guess a positive is that Metro is getting lots of experience in dealing with difficult situations.
Feel free to share your own commuting stories below or any other Metro thoughts. It can be very therapeutic.
I promise that I’ll have some non-Metro posts tomorrow.