• "Avoid the red line at all costs"

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  by jamesinclair
 
I arrived at Ft Tottem today at 10:20pm.

My train to Takoma (Glenmont direction) arrived at 10:47pm.

Based on the number of people waiting, the last train hadnt been for a while, meaning a 30+ minute wait.


The driver said the following:

"Attention passengers, if at all possible, avoid the red line at all costs this weekend. If you think this is bad, well, it's only going to get worse"

"Takoma station, avoid the red line this weekend, this is only going to get worse as the weekend goes on"



Just thought Id pass on this lovely piece of advice.
  by NellieBly
 
The problems seem to come and go. My regular commute starts at Forest Glen, and I normally ride the Red Line all the way to Gallery Place, switching to the Green Line there. On the way home, I generally stay on the Green Line from my origin station (Navy Yard) to Ft. Totten.

Wednesday morning the Red Line deserved that charming military sobriquet "cluster f**k". I got to Forest Glen to find two outbound trains listed on the annunciator, in 9 and 19 minutes, but no inbounds at all. When I arrived on the platform, the annunciator included a train due in five minutes, presumably having just left Glenmont. There were at least a hundred people waiting, so it had been a while. The train pulled in, and the operator announced we would "hold here for two minutes", which we did. Then we left for Silver Spring, lurching to a stop short of the platform. "Moving momentarily...there is a train servicing the platform", presumably having just departed from the pocket track. As we moved into the station, I could see the pocket was already occupied by another train. So I bailed off, and waited. To my astonishment, a second Glenmont train showed up while ours was still in the platform, and Metro chose to bring him in ahead of the train in the pocket. Meanwhile, an outbound train had arrived and done the "no passengers" thing, but the pocket was already occupied, so he sat, backing other trains up behind him.

Finally, the train came out of the pocket and I boarded. There were three trains waiting to enter Silver Spring outbound. The rest of the trip was uneventful except that Gallery Place was a mob scene. Time to work: just over an hour (usual is 40 minutes).

But then the trip in the evening was completely routine and fast. As I said, it seems to come and go. Don't know why.
  by SchuminWeb
 
Agreed. I take the Red Line from Glenmont in the morning, and Metro seems to not quite know how to handle things sometimes when it comes to dealing with the absolute block at Takoma. One would think that they would dispense with the Silver Spring turnbacks with the line goofed up like it is inbound from that location and short-turn ahead of the block, such as at Brookland (and use the B&E connection like a pocket track).
  by jamesinclair
 
MAJOR, MAJOR FAIL TONIGHT.

Here is my trip:

9:35pm, enter Chinatown station
9:45pm red line train arrives
10:05pm, arrive at Brookland.

Up until this point, good. The train driver kept repeating at every station the following announcement:

"The last stop will be brookland, free shuttle bus service is available to ft totem and takoma. Rail travel continues from takoma"

Brookland station. We were in a fairly populated (most seats taken) 8 car train.

2 shuttle buses are waiting.

Fail 1.

They both say shuttle. Passengers swarm the buses. The back doors are not open.

Fail 2.

As passengers board the bus, they ask the driver, "youre going to x right".
Answer: NO

Apparently, one bus was going to takoma and ONLY takoma, and the other bus was going to ft totem and ONLY ft totem. Nobody on the ground was directing people, so people would board, find out theyre on the wrong bus and try to get out as more people tried to board, all through one door.

Fail 3.

Both buses leave, and of course, a hundred people are left behind. An articulated bus arrives, it says shuttle. Only the front door opens.

Fail 4.

Finally, someone is on the ground shouting "THIS BUS IS GOING TO FT TOTEM, TAKOMA AND SILVER SPRING".

Bus finally leaves, and about 60 people are left behind, with no shuttle bus in sight. A passenger asks the driver if hes going to silver spring.
Driver says: "I dont know"

Fail 5.

We arrive at Ft totem after a trip that seemed to take forever. Driver opens both doors, people get off. Once everyone who wants to go to ft totem gets off, the driver does. "Im going to ask if I should drive to silver spring"

Fail 6.

Driver comes back. Nobody at Ft Totem knew the answer. He starts going to takoma. Along the way, he stops at an empty street. No traffic, no red light, I think he wasnt sure if he was driving the right way.

Fail 7.

We arrive in Takoma at 10:50pm, 45 minutes after my train arrived at Brookland.

This is my final stop, but the driver gets out to ask if he should go to silver spring. An agent on the ground says no, go tell your passengers to get off here and take the train. Im going to assume no train was sitting at the station waiting.


If Metro can take out ads in the paper about this, why cant they tell their staff what they need to do?

Two shuttle buses for an 8 car train?
A driver that doesnt know where hes going?
Conflicting information?
FAIL
  by SchuminWeb
 
Sounds like my commute on the day the collision happened. Shuttle loading at Rhode Island Avenue was haphazard, no information from the employees on the ground, and the bus driver didn't know much more than the passengers. But the bus driver was absolutely golden, because he communicated everything he knew to us. So based on your comments, it seems that Metro didn't learn anything about handling shuttles after the accident.

Funny that the rear doors weren't opened for a shuttle, though - it would make for faster boarding that way. Of course, I remember on the day of the accident, when the rear doors did open, the employees physically prevented people from using them for the free shuttle. Of that, I said, "In the case of a revenue run, I can understand barring people from using the rear door, because they can't pay their fare. But for a non-revenue shuttle, who cares? It allows for faster boarding."
  by jamesinclair
 
SchuminWeb wrote:Sounds like my commute on the day the collision happened. Shuttle loading at Rhode Island Avenue was haphazard, no information from the employees on the ground, and the bus driver didn't know much more than the passengers. But the bus driver was absolutely golden, because he communicated everything he knew to us. So based on your comments, it seems that Metro didn't learn anything about handling shuttles after the accident.

Funny that the rear doors weren't opened for a shuttle, though - it would make for faster boarding that way. Of course, I remember on the day of the accident, when the rear doors did open, the employees physically prevented people from using them for the free shuttle. Of that, I said, "In the case of a revenue run, I can understand barring people from using the rear door, because they can't pay their fare. But for a non-revenue shuttle, who cares? It allows for faster boarding."
I understand problems when running unexpected shuttles, but this has been planned for weeks!
  by jamesinclair
 
I talked to my friend who boarded the red line downtown at 11:30pm.

He got home to silver spring at 1:10am.
  by SchuminWeb
 
Yeah, such is the case with shuttle buses, after all. They're just not nearly as fast as rail for a number of reasons. How was the loading process for your friend?
  by Sand Box John
 
"jamesinclair"
I talked to my friend who boarded the red line downtown at 11:30pm.

He got home to silver spring at 1:10am.


You friend should have taken one of the S or 70 buses out of downtown to get to Silver Spring.

The advertised running time between Federal Triangle and Silver Spring for the S bus at that time of the evening is around 35 to 45 minutes. The advertised running time for the 70 buses from Archives to Silver Spring is around 25 to 35 minutes.
  by jamesinclair
 
Sand Box John wrote:"jamesinclair"
I talked to my friend who boarded the red line downtown at 11:30pm.

He got home to silver spring at 1:10am.


You friend should have taken one of the S or 70 buses out of downtown to get to Silver Spring.

The advertised running time between Federal Triangle and Silver Spring for the S bus at that time of the evening is around 35 to 45 minutes. The advertised running time for the 70 buses from Archives to Silver Spring is around 25 to 35 minutes.
He did not think the delays would be so bad
SchuminWeb wrote:Yeah, such is the case with shuttle buses, after all. They're just not nearly as fast as rail for a number of reasons. How was the loading process for your friend?
There were delays boarding the shuttle buses and then a 30 minute wait at Takoma for a train to arrive and then depart towards glenmont
  by Sand Box John
 
"jamesinclair"
He did not think the delays would be so bad


In the post above you claimed it took you 45 minutes to travel from Takoma to Brookland on the shuttle. Based on that I would have advised anyone that I knew to consider an alternative mode.
  by SchuminWeb
 
Indeed. I went into Washington on Saturday - I took the Green Line, and caught the Red Line at Gallery to get to Dupont Circle. No problems whatsoever. If I know that there's shuttle service going on, I usually try to avoid that area entirely.
  by jamesinclair
 
Sand Box John wrote:"jamesinclair"
He did not think the delays would be so bad


In the post above you claimed it took you 45 minutes to travel from Takoma to Brookland on the shuttle. Based on that I would have advised anyone that I knew to consider an alternative mode.
I would have, but I thought he was out of town.

By now, everyone I know has been informed of what to avoid next weekend.