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Happy birthday, Metro!

March 28, 2009, 4:56 AM

As of yesterday, it’s been 33 years since Metro first graced Washington with its presence. And I would say Metro had one hell of a birthday this year. According to Metro, a Red Line train derailed near Bethesda station, and the train being used to recover the first train subsequently derailed as well, causing a major delay on the Red Line for the evening commute.

So when I, walking to Dupont Circle station with our IT manager, arrived at the station, what a crazy scene it was, as the station was like mad crowded with people. As usual, my knowledge of Metro worked to our advantage. Rather than just guess at where to stand or otherwise randomly pick a spot, we stood right where a door was going to land. In the station on the Shady Grove side was a train that had just offloaded its passengers, because it was being turned to service the other side. Unaware of the derailment at the time, I thought that the train being turned was the cause of the delay. But no, it just crossed over to the Glenmont side just north of the station, and became a Glenmont train (I would have been royally PO’d if it had come into service as a Silver Spring train), which was packed to standing room right away. Though due to my knowledge of where to stand, we got a seat. That worked out, since I had a long ways to go. But amazingly enough, despite the major delay on Metro, on the Red Line, I got home on time. And for less, too, since I believe Metro adjusts the fares during major delays, since my normally $4.00 ride cost $3.35.

Otherwise, I got the mismatched Breda pair on Monday, all nice and shiny post-rehab. The mismatched pair is Breda 3290 and 3291. These cars were the mates of the cars that collided in 1996 at Shady Grove. The cars that collided were taken permanently out of service, but their mates were either undamaged or minimally damaged, and were renumbered and mated together. Thus 3290 used to be 3190, and 3291 used to be 3253. And what’s strange is that apparently, during or just after rehab, Metro decided to put numbers on 3290 along the roofline, and then decided against it, leaving a labelscar on the car. Take a look:

Breda 3290

I saw this, and I was like, why? Seriously, why? One would think that once the numbers are on, as long as they’re correct, there’s no harm in leaving them there. But Metro apparently scraped them off, leaving a mark.

Meanwhile, speaking of mismatched Breda pairs, 3193 and 3218 are no longer a set. I spotted 3218 at Dupont Circle station on the way into work a week or so ago, and it was mated with none other than Breda 3219, looking fine post-rehab. I wonder what the problems were on that car that caused it to need extra attention. We may never know. Meanwhile, one would assume that 3193 also has been re-mated with 3192, but I’ve not spotted it yet, so who knows.

Web site: It's funny how little Metro has changed...

Quote: Speaking of Bredas, it's funny... I used to like the brown rubber handrails on the Breda cars, but nowadays, I consider them to have a high "yuck" potential. While the metal handrails on the Rohrs, CAFs, Alstoms, and Breda rehabs have less potential for dirt and gunk to accumulate on them, I consider the rubber ones to be kind of gross to touch. Grab those during rush hour, and something stuck to those might very well come off on your hand. While I'll be sad when the last of the old Bredas goes off to rehab in the next decade, I will not miss those handrails...

Categories: WMATA