Part of MARTA's rail service will shut down between 10 p.m. Saturday and 3 a.m. Sunday for an emergency preparedness exercise.

MARTA terror attack simulation to cause train delays

MARTA will experience alarms, smoke and panicked screams in Midtown late Saturday into Sunday. 

Don’t worry: It’s all planned.

But some riders are going to have to deal with delays.

It’s part of the transit system’s full-scale emergency preparedness exercise at the Midtown station from 10 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday. 

MORE: Why a MARTA move into Cobb County wouldn’t have to be all or nothing

MARTA police Lt. Aston Greene, who is leading the simulation, said 17 federal, state and local agencies will participate in the exercise, intended to provide real-life training for first responders. 

“There will be simulated gunfire and people appearing to be injured,” Green said at a news conference Thursday. “It’s similar to a Hollywood production, but it helps to increase training.”

Road closures will be in place while MARTA conducts an emergency preparedness exercise. (Credit: MARTA)

ALSO:

Atlanta City Council approves streetcar transfer to MARTA

Georgia senator: Atlanta suburbs need to get on board with mass transit

The training has been in the works since January through a federal grant from the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program, which provides law enforcement agencies with a set of guidelines and suggestions in addressing national emergencies. 

“These exercises are a critical tool that enable us to assess our response to crisis situations and identify areas for improvements,” MARTA CEO Keith Parker said in a statement. “The recent terror attack on London’s rail system as well as natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma underscore the importance of running various scenarios.” 

MORE: MARTA explains massive delay as riders recall the headache

At 9 p.m. Saturday, service on the northbound and southbound rails will be interrupted and a bus bridge will be put in place at the Arts Center and North Avenue stations. The bus will take passengers to the next available station. 

Local businesses and nearby residents have been contacted about the exercise to minimize confusion, MARTA officials said. 

MORE: Can fast buses help ease Atlanta’s traffic nightmare?

“Businesses and residents in a five-mile radius of the MARTA Midtown station may hear loud noises and see heavy police activity as part of this year’s exercise,” MARTA Police Chief Wanda Dunham said. 

The following road closures will be in place during the exercise: 

-Peachtree Place NE from West Peachtree Street NW to Peachtree Street NE beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday.

-10th Street NE from West Peachtree Street NW to Peachtree Street NE beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Limited access will be provided for the Regency Suites parking deck and the Alta Midtown parking deck.

NEW: Join the discussion at the AJC's Crime & Public Safety Facebook group

Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.[Summary]

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.