Dupont Circle station closed twice during morning rush

The Red Line station was closed twice during the morning commute due to train problems. Photo: John Gonzalez

The Dupont Circle Metro station was closed twice within a span of an hour on Monday morning for separate problems with trains, WMATA said.

A train with a brake problem forced the first of two brief closures during Monday morning's rush hour, Metro's official Twitter account said. The second closure happened about 45 minutes later due to a disabled train.

The closure has caused severe crowding problems on the Dupont Circle platform and Red Line trains are bypassing the station, Metro says.

All of the issues came on a morning that WMATA had already beefed up staffing systemwide. Metro dispatched more employees to high-traffic stations after computer glitches caused the rail system to completely shut down on two occasions this past weekend.

First closure - 8:33 a.m.

Dupont Circle station is currently closed. An extra train will service existing customers on the platform.

— @wmata (@wmata) July 16, 2012

WMATA reported that a brake problem on a Red Line train forced the closure of the station just after 8:30 a.m. Extra trains were called in to ferry passengers already inside the station out, but regularly scheduled trains bypassed the busy station.

The station then reopened just after 8:50 a.m., about 20 minutes later.

Dupont Circle station has re-opened. Trains are moving, recovering from earlier delays.

— @wmata (@wmata) July 16, 2012

Second closure - 9:12 a.m.

Just about 25 minutes after the station reopened after the first problem, a disabled train in the already crowded station caused a second closure.

Dupont Circle is currently closed due to a disabled train at the platform, being offloaded now. 9:12a

— @wmata (@wmata) July 16, 2012

The station reopened about 10 minutes later.

Only one entrance services Dupont

Metro says that when crowding conditions occur at the Dupont Circle station, officials may close the station temporarily because only one entrance services the extremely popular station.

In February, Metro shut down the station's south entrance to completely replace each of the escalators that serviced the station. That left only the station's north entrance passable for riders to enter and exit.

When crowding occurs, Metro says that temporary closures and trains bypassing the station may occur.

On Monday, Metro officials met with Maryland's congressional leaders to explain what went wrong. Metro's assistant general manager says they are investigating don't know at this point what caused the glitch and can't say right now it won't happen again.

“This review will continue to go on without stopping until we get to the bottom of the issue,” says Metro Assistant General Manager Dave Kubicek.