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For the second time in a week, a Metro train has gone down the wrong tracks.
Around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, a train that was marked as an Orange Line train went down the Blue Line tracks. Blue and Orange line trains share a track for portions of the system but they split apart at Rosslyn. The Blue Line heads south to Franconia-Springfield while the Orange Line heads west to Vienna.
The train stopped at Arlington Cemetery and passengers were off-loaded and rerouted on another train, according to Metro spokesman Caroline Lukas.
“It was an inconvenience,” she said. “They were off-loaded and they had to double back.”
“Instead of it acting like an Orange Line train, it acted like a Blue,” she said. The incident happened because of a “signal issue,” she said. Lukas said she did not have more details about what caused the problem and said she “would assume” the incident is being investigated.
People on social media outlets raised concerns Tuesday about safety after the incident, but Lukas responded, “I know some folks on Twitter are trying to make this a safety issue but this was never a safety issue.”
On July 3, there was a similar incident.
An Orange Line train was “taken out of service at Arlington Cemetery after it was inadvertently routed to the Blue Line,” according to a statement Metro spokesman Dan Stessel gave to WJLA which first reported on the incident.
Stessel said the July 3 incident “did not delay other trains, and passengers aboard the affected train experienced a 12-minute delay in their trip. At no time was this a safety issue.”
On Tuesday afternoon, when asked if the two incidents were similar, Stessel wrote in an email that it was “not known yet.”
He said they were “similar in effect, but there are different scenarios that can cause.” He said Metro “won’t know until playback is completed” more details of what happened.
The incidents come as Metro has recently reported to its board that it has seen an uptick of train operators running red signals.
This article first appeared on www.washingtonpost.com
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