Out of Control Policy Blog

How to survive a metro derailment

Last week, a train on Washington, DC Metro's very busy Orange Line derailed in Northern Virginia. On Sunday, the Washington Post published a soberingly humorous article from one of the "survivors". In addition to its humour, the author provides some insight into the everyday social interactions of metro riders (ones I can verify from personal experience). For example:

Our first face-to-face contact with a Metro employee came when a nice man came through the door at the end of the car to check on us. "Everyone okay?" he asked sincerely. "Anyone blind, crippled or crazy?" I saw none of the first or second categories but had suspicions regarding the third, including the guy who BlackBerried his way onto this train [the author].

Soon we were informed that a "rescue train" would come for us. It would be five minutes, we were told at 3:20 p.m. By that time, bizarre behavior had broken out in our car: People were talking to each other. I checked the sign in the car to make sure this was not on Metro's list of verbotens, like eating, drinking and smiling.

It's well worth a read.

Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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