Metro Takes a Wrong Turn

Blue line train gets on the Orange line

By John Wist
|  Thursday, Jul 1, 2010  |  Updated 8:46 AM EDT
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Metro Takes a Wrong Turn

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WASHINGTON - AUGUST 6: Tourists look at a map in the Smithsonian Metro Station August 6, 2002 in Washington, DC. Washington is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in the nation and the number of visitors has been appoaching the pre-September 11 levels. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Just when it seemed like Metro’s week couldn’t get any worse, one of their trains did the impossible. A Blue Line train actually made a wrong turn. Last time we checked, train tracks are fixed, which makes wrong turns pretty rare.

But at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, a train operator accidentally sent the Blue Line train toward New Carrollton on the Orange Line, according to the Washington Post. Janine Jackson was on the train and told the Post that the train stopped abruptly shortly after leaving the Stadium-Armory Station.

“All of a sudden, [the operator] braked really hard, and we thought we had hit something,” Jackson told the Post. “Everyone looked around to see what was going on.”

Jackson said the operator announced that the train was accidentally switched to head toward New Carrollton and had left the Blue Line, according to the Post. The train then continued on the Orange Line to the Minnesota Avenue station, where the Blue Line riders boarded another train back to the Stadium-Armory station.

Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato told the Post that the controller "manually chose New Carrollton, which was a mistake on his part."  She said the controller and operator would be retrained.

“It was never a safety issue," Asato told the Post. "There was no problem with the switch or the train."

The whole incident only lasted about 8 minutes, but it is raising some eyebrows.  Maybe there needs to be an investigation to see if the whole system is on the wrong track.

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