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“May I have your attention, customers traveling on the Blue Line in the direction of Largo Town Center…”

March 17, 2006, 12:54 AM

I went railfanning in DC with my friend Matthew Tilley on Wednesday, and I have to say… I was right on the money with one thing that happened early on in our trip.

We were waiting on the upper level platform at Rosslyn, and had just passed up an Orange Line train into DC as “too crowded”, hoping to catch the next train, which we had hoped would be less crowded. So there’s this Blue Line train that looks like it’s coming through the C Route tunnel towards Rosslyn. And it’s still back there. Then the headlights go off on the front of the train, and the taillights come on. This is repeated a few times. I told Matthew that it seems that our Blue Line train was experiencing problems in the tunnel.

Then I imitated the voice from Metro that usually announces such problems. “May I have your attention, customers traveling on the Blue Line in the direction of Largo Town Center. We are experiencing a delay due to a train at Rosslyn experiencing mechanical problems.”

Less than a minute after I did my imitation, a voice came over the loudspeaker at Rosslyn: “May I have your attention, customers traveling on the Blue Line in the direction of Largo Town Center. We are experiencing a delay due to a train at Rosslyn experiencing mechanical problems.”

All I have to say is that I am good. A few people around me besides Matthew also noticed that I had gotten the announcement dead on. Only thing different was that I was imitating a woman’s voice, while it was a man’s voice doing the announcement.

And by the way, the best place to hear station announcements is standing directly beneath the display screens, as there’s a speaker pointed downwards in the bottom of those displays.

Otherwise, Matthew and I had a great time railfanning the Red Line, going from Metro Center to Shady Grove, across to the Glenmont side, and back to Metro Center. We visited about half the stations on the line, and got more Rohr cars than either one of us had gotten in quite a long time.

We also rode Breda 4018 from Glenmont to Forest Glen. 4018, you may recall, is one of the cars involved in the November 3, 2004 accident at Woodley Park-Zoo. The last time I’d photographed 4018, it was underneath Rohr 1077. Last time I saw 4018 before this trip, I saw it last summer at Metro Center, which was the first time seeing it post-accident, where the car got a new front. Now, the car looks exactly the same as before the accident, but there is no Breda horse on the cab end of the car, which is a property unique to the 4000-series cars. Additionally, since the maps were last changed while 4018 was getting repaired at Greenbelt, the maps were never changed, and so the 2001 maps are still in place.

Web site: The Woodley Park-Zoo accident - the last time before this trip that I'd photographed Breda 4018

Song: Whatever's on TV right now

Quote: "I am GOOD!"

Categories: DC trips, Matthew, WMATA