WASHINGTON – The morning commute for a lot of people in the D.C. area has turned into a mess on Thursday morning as Metro has suspended the Blue, Orange and Silver Lines between Federal Center SW and McPherson Square.
The Federal Triangle and Smithsonian stations, and the lower levels at Metro Center and L’Enfant Plaza, are closed.
Metro’s Dan Stessel says it’s the result of the derailment of a non-passenger train, and that it’s “really gonna be a problem for folks this morning.”
He says those commuting into downtown should consider other options. “Whenever we have this kind of a service disruption downtown, there’s really no way to run trains as frequently as we would normally run them, and that’s where folks start feeling that crowding, and that slow going.”
He suggests that people heading into D.C. from Virginia should take the Yellow Line into L’Enfant Plaza or up to Gallery Place, then transfer to the Red Line.
Metro is sending buses between the affected stations; it also advises people that they can transfer from the Blue and Orange Lines to the Red Line by exiting at Farragut West and walking to Farragut North. Metro says you won’t be charged for the re-entry.
Metro has also said that the shuttle bus locations for Federal Center SW are at 3rd and D streets SW; for McPherson Square, 14th and I streets NW. They add that if you want to avoid the bus, it’s a three-block walk from Federal Center to L’Enfant Plaza, where the Green and Yellow Lines are running and you can get to Gallery Place to take the Red Line.
Stessel says there were no injuries in the derailment; only the operator of the train was on board. He added that the can’t be sure how long the situation will last, but he was fairly sure it would occupy the whole morning rush.