Amtrak riders scramble to make it home

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - At Union Station, the rush began early to get out of town and make it home before the snow starts.

"There are a lot of people scrambling trying to get out," said traveler Margaret Holman. "I tried to get on the one o'clock, but that was booked so I had a reservation for the two and here I am."

"I am going back to New York -- we've already had 38 inches and we're getting more," added Barbara Levine. "I want to get home before I have to slosh through."

Service on the busy Northeast Corridor was not affected, but Amtrak on Wednesday cancelled all 12 of its trains that travel long-distance between New York and Miami.

"That change was made out of caution for our passengers, crews, and equipment," explained Amtrak spokeswoman Cristina Leeds.

Metro has loaded up salt, sand, and snow plows, but no matter how prepared the transit system is, there are bound to be issues for the trains when inches of snow pile up.

Once snow accumulation totals reach eight inches, that is when the snow starts interacting with the third rail and that could necessitate temporary suspension of above-ground service.

Alegra Woodard depends on Metro, as she uses it daily to get back from her home in Dumfries to work in downtown D.C. and back:

"We've had problems before and it's been solved -- I'm pretty sure it won't be worse than anything we've had before."

The storm could have a big impact on Metrobus service too. It has already cancelled service after 1 a.m. Wednesday night, and MetroAccess for the disabled will not be in service all day Thursday.

Depending on how much snow the area gets, regular Metrobus service could be cut back dramatically.

"That would be very very bad. I mainly use public transportation so it is essential that the buses run and run on time," said Sinitra McCombs.