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Despite Snafus, Metro Has Largely Problem-Free Inaugural

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There were huge crowds outside of L'Enfant Plaza at one point in the afternoon, after they temporarily closed the gates to new riders.
Jonathan Wilson
There were huge crowds outside of L'Enfant Plaza at one point in the afternoon, after they temporarily closed the gates to new riders.

Large crowds forced some Metro stations, including Metro Center, to temporarily close this afternoon as thousands headed home following President Obama's inaugural address.

When an Orange Line trains pulled into Metro Center — minutes after the station reopened — so packed that few on the platform were able to board.

The spirit of Inauguration Day seemed to pervade, however, and many didn't seem to mind. One customer said it was exhilarating just to be part of history.

It took several trains to arrive before the platform was cleared.

Metro suffered some other minor snafus. A disabled train outside Rosslyn caused delays on the Blue and Orange lines for a period. Overcrowding after the swearing-in ceremony temporary shut down four stations along the Blue Line. And a signal problem near Van Ness had Glenmont-bound Red Line trains running behind time. 

But it appears Metro has gotten through the day without any major mishaps, and that's a good thing, considering more than 460,000 people entered the rail system by mid-afternoon. That's about two-thirds the number of riders who used Metro during the President's first inauguration.

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