According to Dante Alighieri, past the wall of flames after the 7th terrace of Purgatory, there is an immense stone staircase leading to the Earthly Paradise so big that Dante and his companions are forced to spend the night sleeping on it. The escalator in the Rosslyn Metro Station leads to the D.C. suburb, rather than salvation, and with any luck there is no need to sleep on it, but at 207 feet it is the second longest continuous escalator (Wheaton Station in D.C. is the longest at 230 feet) in North America and one of the longest in the world – quite an intimidating obstacle for weary travelers.
Normally, the travel time from top to bottom is nearly three minutes (159 seconds to be exact), but if Rosslyn's mechanized steps are among the 40 percent of Metro escalators not functioning at any given time, the journey quickly becomes more Dante-esque in scope.
A rapid transit station accessible by either the Blue or Orange Lines of the Washington Metro, Rosslyn is in the D.C. suburb of Arlington, Virginia. Because the suburb is located on a bluff west of the Potomac River, the subway system has to plunge deep under the city, passing through a rock-bored tunnel, when traveling from D.C. to the east, which is why this station is located so far underground.
For those too terrified to ride the escalator all the way up (or down), there is a street elevator to the mezzanine (upper) level of the station on the east side of North Moore St., across from the Metro station entrance.