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Green Line Train Derails

Elton J. Hayes | , Barrington M. Salmon | , WI Staff Writers | 7/7/2012, 1:41 a.m.

At the Fort Totten station, riders sat in the grass in front of the station seeking shelter from the sweltering heat. Others took refuge under an underpass also located near the front of the station entrance. Long lines of displaced passengers waited for buses and shuttles to West Hyattsville and Prince George's Plaza Station, while police and extra Metro staff helped with crowd control.

There appeared to be some confusion between bus drivers and station staff as to what shuttles were parked where, and increasingly impatient commuters appeared visibly upset with the lack of communication between Metro employees and themselves.

Brandon Catron, also of Greenbelt, Md., was not in a very forgiving mood for this, the latest Metro mishap.

"It's getting very aggravating," said Catron, 48. "As a matter of fact, I'm getting tired of paying all of the money that we're paying for this service that's not so good. They definitely need to do something about it."

Catron was referring to new Metro fares which went into effect on July 1 and his complaints echoed those of significant swathes of Metro riders who have tired of the broken and faulty escalators, delays, derailments and a host of other problems.

The 33-year-old train system has been beset by myriad problems.

This crash comes three years and two weeks after the train system's worst crash in history.

On the evening of June 22, 2009, a malfunctioning electronic circuit led to the collision of two trains near the Fort Totten station during rush hour. Cars from the trailing train jackknifed and fell onto the first train. A train operator and eight passengers were killed and 80 others were injured.

Lukas said Metro crews would bring in a device to place the train back on the track, but the success of that operation would depend on the extent of the damage to the cars.

Metro's latest mishap left Peggye Mason shaking her head.

"It's a mess. It's a mess. I think that they should have been more prepared than they are," said Mason, 46, who lives in Hyattsville.

"It's like every other day there's something. If it's not Metro, then it's Pepco. They just need to get all of this stuff together. It's just a mess. It's too hot out here, they should be more prepared."

WI Staff Researcher Stacey Palmer contributed to this story.