Here is How Your Afternoon Metro Commute May Look

Thursday morning Metrotrain offloading at Arlington Cemetery/Credit: Katie Watson via TwitterMetro commuters generally had a horrendous Thursday morning after an empty train car derailed near the Smithsonian, throwing Blue, Silver and Orange line schedules into chaos.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.-11th), who represents Reston, sent this Tweet  Thursday afternoon:

“While the cause of the derailment is still unknown, today’s Metro incident is yet another example of why we must retire and replace the old series rail cars and make immediate system and safety upgrades.”

As of 2:30 p.m., here is what Metro is saying about the evening rush home.

Metro has restored limited rail service using a single track between McPherson Square and Federal Center SW stations. The restoration of service follows the successful re-railing of two railcars from the non-passenger train that derailed this morning at a switch location outside Smithsonian.

Customers on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines may experience longer waits for trains due to single tracking. Trains will run in one direction for approximately 15 minutes, and then the flow of traffic will be reversed to run in the opposite direction for approximately 15 minutes.

Trains will operate as follows:

Silver Line: Trains will run ONLY between Wiehle-Reston East and East Falls Church. Silver Line riders traveling between DC and Virginia should transfer to/from Orange Line trains at East Falls Church

Orange Line: Trains running in both directions between Vienna and New Carrollton. Trains will run less frequently than normal due to single tracking and will bypass Federal Triangle and Smithsonian stations.

Blue Line: Trains running in both directions between Franconia-Springfield and Largo Town Center. Trains will run less frequently than normal due to single tracking and will bypass Federal Triangle and Smithsonian stations.

Federal Triangle & Smithsonian Stations Remain Closed — In the interest of reducing train delays through the single tracking area, two stations — Federal Triangle and Smithsonian — will remain closed.

All Orange and Blue line trains will run non-stop between Metro Center and L’Enfant Plaza (bypassing Federal Triangle and Smithsonian).

Free shuttle buses will run in a continuous loop between Metro Center, Federal

Triangle, Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza. (Federal Triangle is a 0.3 mile walk to Metro Center. Smithsonian is a 0.4 mile walk to L’Enfant Plaza.)

NOTE: Only riders traveling to/from Federal Triangle or Smithsonian need to use shuttle bus service. All other riders can remain on the train.
What to Expect

At Metro Center and L’Enfant Plaza, all trains — both directions — will arrive on the eastbound (to New Carrollton/Largo) track.

There will be no Silver Line trains between East Falls Church and Largo Town Center. Use Orange or Blue line trains instead.

Platform Information Displays (i.e. “Next Train” signs) will not show accurate predictions during single tracking.

Additional Travel Tips & Ways to Avoid Delays

If traveling between DC and Virginia: Consider using the Yellow Line if possible. Board Yellow Line trains at Gallery Place (Red Line transfer point), Archives or L’Enfant Plaza stations.

If traveling between Red Line stations and Blue/Orange/Silver line stations in Virginia: Transfer between lines by using Farragut Crossing. For example, riders can exit at Farragut North, walk one block to Farragut West and re-enter the Metrorail system at no cost.

Consider bus service: Metrobus and Circulator bus service may provide an option for some riders. To check, use theTrip Planner at and select the “bus only” option. For example, Metrobus 38B route provides service from Downtown DC to several Orange Line stations in Virginia.

Metro crews continue work to complete re-railing work at the site of this morning’s derailment. A cause has not yet been determined.

Photo: Thursday morning Metro train offloading at Arlington Cemetery/Credit: Katie Watson via Twitter

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