Crew at scene of Red Line train derailment between Rhode Island Avenue and Brookland stations (@financialista via Twitter)
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Metro officials say service has been restored at a section of the Red Line that was shut down following a train derailment overnight.
More than 40 shuttle buses provided replacement service and many customers chose the Green Line as an alternate route of Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, the train had been removed but workers remained on the track.
Metro officials say the train was moved from a rail yard between the Rhode Island Avenue and Brookland stations around midnight for routine maintenance. As the train passed through the Rhode Island Station, two sets of wheels from cars four and five left the track, according to officials. Metro officials said the operator likely didn't notice. Then, the train kept going for several thousand feet. Along the way, the wheels were damaged and in some cases, signal cables.
There was no damage to the track itself.
No passengers were onboard the train at the time of the derailment and there ws no injury to the operator.
Ridership was light Friday because of the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Metro is advising customers to avoid the eastern side of the Red Line if possible. Riders should expect longer waits for trains and increased crowding across the Red Line.
Metro officials are advising riders to use the Green Line as an alternate route between Fort Totten and Gallery Place in downtown D.C. Passengers arriving on Red Line trains at Fort Totten should transfer to Green Line trains on the lower level. Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel said Friday afternoon many passengers were able to get on Green Line trains.
Many people are wondering how the ride home will be. It's a little too early to tell. We found caught up with riders at Fort Totten, where the Red, Green and Yellow lines meet. We saw people on the Red Line get off and hop on one of the green or yellow line trains to get past the trouble spot. But if you were going to Brookland, Catholic University or Rhode Island, you had to take a shuttle bus.
There was a mad dash for the bus for people already in a rush. "It's been a real big mess this morning. You think you can get to a meeting on time but of course, Metro delay after delay after delay. Of course, the communication is just horrible ... no idea what to do," said one commuter.
Lots of people did get to work, though, but it took extra time.
Metro says if you're headed toward downtown, you can just trudge down the stairs and switch to the Green or Yellow lines and switch lines again to head farther out the Red Line.
"If you're still continuing along the red line, it's a transfer station. You can hop on the Red Line to Shady Grove," pointed out Metro spokesperson Caroline Lukas.
For many people this situation was just one more hassle added to their frustrations.
"When I found out that the Red Line train had derailed, I knew that that was going to be a real problem," said one woman.
Another rider said, "We're good at responding to the emergency once it happens. In terms of preventing it from happening, I'm not sure."
One man told us that the derailment made him late for his job interview.