New Escalator at south entrance of Dupont Metro station is out of service due to fire alarm

Photo from twitter user @MeisnereCMP.

Thanks to a reader for sending this tweet of a – if you don’t laugh you’ll cry – photo of an out of service Dupont South metro escalator which reopened over the weekend after being closed for repairs for 8 months.

Update from WMATA:

“I just wanted to mention that there is nothing wrong with the new escalators. There was an active fire alarm in the station. That, by design, causes the escalators to turn off. Techs resetting now. (There was no fire.) I should mention that the system stops the down escalators — any escalator already ascending continues to operate. This is a safety feature that is designed to maximize egress in the event of an emergency. ”

36 Comment

  • orderedchaos

    I’m glad the Welcome Back sign is still displayed.

  • Wasn’t there an over/under on the previous post about how long it would take for this to happen?

  • Yeah, one of the Dupont North Escalators died halfway up it’s climb around 9:30am. Sweet.

  • LOL. What the hell is wrong with these escalators?!?!?!

    I lived in Beijing for a year in 2009 and their escalators gets waaaaaaaaaaaaay more abuse and foot traffic than we ever see in DC. And yet, I saw perhaps one broken escalator in my entire time there and they sure-as-hell don’t take 8 months to install them (perhaps a few weeks, at the most).

    Time = money in China and they want their projects done yesterday.

    • The problem started around 20 years ago when WMATA got rid of private repair contractors and started hiring and training their own, the rationale being that it would be cheaper in the long run. So instead of seasoned professionals with experience in maintenance you get halfassed intermittent work from clockwatchers who you can’t fire.

  • I actually heard the sad trombone noise in my head when I read this headline.

    Welcome back, indeed.

  • The units were not fixed, they were completely replaced. When an escalator is running properly shutdowns will happen. The escalator is not broken. It will be running again shortly.

    • You’re righit, it’s not broken, it’s temporarily stairs.

      • Well played. Was going to post the same thing myself.

        • People just love to get angry and see how quickly they can post to @unsuckdcmetro or @wmata first about situations they have no clue about. They see a unit shutdown and instantly assume its broken. Yes there are infrastructure faults and the system needs repair/modernasiations and new installations but these units are brand new and working properly.

          • While I generally agree that people are quick to post complaints, even before they know all the facts, it probably doesn’t help Metro system when they’ve had multiple failures or lackings, especially in recent memory. Some people are just working off of back knowledge, I suppose.

          • You’ll have to pardon me. WMATA has such a stellar reputation I should really give them the benefit of the doubt.

  • Why is this one escalator in a city full of “news” getting so much press?

    • Are you new to DC? This is the big news to people who live here, and it’s not just about an escalator.

      There are 600,000 people who live here and a million who work here every day. The things that matter most to them are the same that matter to people in any city – anything that affects their daily life. The big “news” items don’t get them to work faster or keep their streets from flooding or keep the bikes and cars from being stolen. And Metro is something that hundreds of thousands of us use daily and that has routinely dumped suck sauce all over us. This escalator and its fail are examples of that.

      Welcome to DC.

  • Ooooook. Guess we all overreacted. Smelled blood in the water.

  • Ha ha, I called this in the last post about their reopening. I said 2 weeks and they would be busted. Guess I was generous.

  • We should also have had an over/under on how long it takes PoP commentators to draw broad conclusions fitting their worldview based on incomplete or inaccurate information. (And even continue drawing them after the perfectly reasonable explanation is posted.)

  • Probably a union member pulled the fire alarm. Then he rode his bike back to his subsidized apartment, without stopping for a single red light.

  • Thanks for the update. It’s actually good to know that the system worked properly in an emergency situation, even if it was a false alarm. Probably a good thing that it got tested in the first week when Schindler engineers are still monitoring it.

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