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“I’ll be home a little before 7:00.”

October 22, 2007, 8:06 PM

Famous last words.

I got home at 8:00, and we can say there’s never a dull moment when riding Metro. First of all, my morning commute went swimmingly, and I had a good day at work. However, the evening commute was another story. Normally, going home, I walk to Dupont Circle, I take a Red Line train to Glenmont, and then Ride-On’s 51 bus. But today, due to a fire at Union Station, it took three trains, a bus, and a two-block walk to get home.

So I walked to Dupont Circle, talking to Mom on the phone as I walked. Then I got my Red Line train to Glenmont at Dupont Circle. CAF 5140. So we’re off. Farragut North. Metro Center. Gallery Pl-Chinatown. Judiciary Square. Stop in the tunnel. Sit. Hold. Meanwhile, I was somewhat absorbed in the game of Scrabble that I was playing on my phone, while listening to Randi Rhodes (with Lionel sitting in), so it took me a while to even realize we were stopped. I realized, wait a second, we’re not moving. Then the operator came on the PA. “Due to a fire at Union Station, I have been instructed to bring this train back to Judiciary Square.” So then the little interior LED, which until now said “RED” on it, went blank. The operator gets out, and walks through the train to the other end. Then the interior LED comes on again, and it says “RED” on it, which means the operator is on the Shady Grove end of the train, and he’s turned the train back on.  Which means we’ve gone from this:

GLENMONT

To this:

SHADY GROVE

And then when we got to Judiciary Square, the train operator says that the train will be going back to Shady Grove. Greeeeeeat. We were informed that shuttle bus service would be running between Judiciary Square and Rhode Island Avenue. Up to the mezzanine on the Glenmont side. The response from the station manager was that the shuttle bus would be on the other side. So everyone scurried over to the other side. Other station manager says he has no idea. So everyone went up to the street – through the employee gate, mind you, since everyone had every intention of reboarding. After a wait, a Metro employee with a cell phone eventually informed everyone that it would take 30 minutes for the shuttle buses to arrive, and to take the Green Line around the affected area. So everyone walked down the street, past Metro headquarters (how ironic), and into Gallery Pl-Chinatown station.

So I caught a Green Line train – Alstom 6089, and I was on my way. By now, I knew that I was definitely not going to make the 51 from Glenmont, since the last 51 leaves at 6:40. I know where my timepoints are to make the 51, and I was well past those. My Green Line ride went swimmingly, and I made the transfer back to Red at Fort Totten. On the upper level, this eight-car train pulled in, and I quickly boarded Rohr 1126. Somehow, I managed to get what I would refer to as the “private cabin” – the seat that’s part of the cab when it’s in use, but open to riders when the cab’s not in use. Thus there’s a partition in front of the seat, and the end of the car right there, so it’s enclosed on three sides. Sweet! Normally, I don’t like riding here because it’s a backwards-facing seat (I don’t like riding while facing backwards), but it worked for me this time, because I sat side-saddle.

So arriving at Glenmont, the 51 was long gone, and the Y took ages to arrive. Greeeeeeeat. After what felt like ages, the Y5 to Norbeck Park and Ride showed (though I get off well before Norbeck), and I got home. So that’s the end of my commute. So, yeah, I’ll be home just before 7:00. Famous last words. It was 8:00 before I got home tonight…

Web site: WJLA on the fire at Union Station. Nice picture of a 3000-series Breda there...

Song: Theme to The Randi Rhodes Show

Quote: Does anyone else find it somewhat ironic to have to walk past Metro headquarters to get to a Green Line station to take an alternate route home due to problems on Metro?

Categories: Commuting, WMATA