Capital Metro will remain on reduced service until the end of the year
Washington — The regional train system serving the Washington, D.C. area will remain at significantly reduced service levels until at least the end of this year, as authorities grapple with a safety issue that has forced the majority of trains out of service.
Paul J. Wiedefeld, general manager of the Washington, D.C. District Transportation Authority (WMATA), announced Monday that there are no specific timelines for returning 7000 Series carriages to service. Trains are the latest in service and the 748 cars make up about 60% of the fleet.
The Metro Authority’s Safety Committee abruptly ordered the entire line of 7000 series trains to be withdrawn in mid-October after a derailment revealed chronic problems with wheels and axles.
“We intentionally don’t set deadlines so that safety and good data drive our decisions, but we recognize that customers want the best service we can provide as soon as we can deliver, and we are committed to building in phases,” Wedfield said in a statement on Monday.
Original plans to bring old 6000 Series trains out of retirement to help fill service gaps have been delayed by the global supply chain crisis, which has prevented essential parts from arriving.
“Although we know the service is not as frequent as customers prefer, we will add each train as it becomes available to help progressively improve service reliability and frequency,” Wiedefeld said.
The bulk of Washington’s subway fleet was suspended when a train car skidded off the rails on the subway’s Blue Line near Arlington National Cemetery on October 12. before he gets off track again. Some passengers were trapped in a tunnel inside a darkened train car and had to be evacuated on foot.
After derailing, the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that Kawasaki’s 7000 series trains had an escalating series of accidents due to a design flaw that caused the wheels to spread too widely over the axles, allowing the wagon to skid. tracks. The issue has been apparent to WMATA since 2017, but neither the NTSB nor the WMATA board has been notified, NTSB President Jennifer Homedy said.
The incident is still under investigation by the NTSB. This incident was an embarrassment for WMATA, which suffered a series of serious derailments and track fires several years prior but claimed to have addressed its issues.
Total passenger numbers remain at about 30% of pre-pandemic levels, but are expected to increase steadily as offices reopen and tourists return to Washington.
Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.