Metro says root reason for rail-car issues could by no means be recognized

Metro officers say they’re dedicated to soundly returning extra troubled 7000-series railcars to service, although they are saying they’re nonetheless at a loss as to what’s brought about the wheel-set points that sidelined a lot of its fleet.

Metro officers stated Thursday they’re dedicated to soundly returning extra troubled 7000-series railcars to service, although they’re nonetheless at a loss as to what’s brought about the wheel-set points that sidelined a lot of its fleet.

“The problem is complex and there’s no obvious root cause at this time … and so there’s a real risk that we might not find a root cause,” Metro Deputy Chief Security Officer Jayme Johnson stated throughout a Metro Board of Administrators assembly Thursday. “That would be extremely disappointing. However, really, what we can be focused on as a service is the mitigation.”

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A derailment on the Blue Line last October is believed to have been brought about when the wheels on the practice’s 7000-series automobiles shifted too far aside, in accordance with the Nationwide Transportation Security Board, which continues to be investigating. The Washington Metrorail Security Fee initially ordered all of the 7000-series rail automobiles off the tracks.

A restricted variety of the automobiles returned to service over the summer season, and back-to-back inspections are carried out each 4 days.

Since June, some 53,000 inspections have been carried out, and no wheels have been came upon of alignment, Johnson stated.

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The replace from Metro comes a couple of days after the protection fee — which is impartial from Metro and acts as a security watchdog — stated a 2015 report from a Metro marketing consultant turned up comparable wheel issues years earlier on Metro’s older rail automobiles. That difficulty was believed to be attributable to monitor points involving what’s referred to as “restraining rails.”

The 2015 report — and the chance that monitor issues may have contributed to the wheel misalignment — was not publicly recognized earlier than the protection fee assembly Wednesday.

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Johnson instructed the Metro board Thursday the 2015 report had been offered to NTSB investigators shortly after it started its investigation final yr.

“I just want to be clear that this report was not new information that we were hiding,” Johnson stated. “And it was actually provided to the investigation back in November. So this isn’t new information, and there’s nothing that we’ve been hiding here.”

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Johnson stated it’s seemingly there are a number of contributing elements to the wheel drawback. “Rather than draw conclusions before experts identify the root cause, WMATA is focusing on refining our processes” for conducting measurements making certain Metro wheels stay in alignment.

“WMATA is treading carefully. Changing track or other engineering solutions based on partial theories that are not wholly supported by data or evidence might not only fail to address the issue, but might cause unintended consequences in other areas,” he added.

Metro is at present allowed to return 20 trains to service below its authorised return-to-service plan.

“We are committed to conducting measurements until the root cause is identified … So, really a message that I would like you to hear is that it’s about measurement, measurement, measurement.”

Normal Supervisor Randy Clarke stated, “What I’m OK with is guaranteeing that we have a safety assurance process that, regardless of root cause, the trains are safe.”

At Thursday’s assembly, the Metro board additionally approved negotiations for a sale of as much as 40 acres on the Greenbelt Metro station if the positioning is chosen for a brand new FBI headquarters.

Metro Board Chair Paul Smedberg stated the transfer isn’t an indication that FBI is favoring one website over one other, however was in response to a request from the Normal Providers Administration.

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