Metro has completed the final review of its plan to return eight 7000-series trains to passenger service and customers can expect service to start Thursday.
An October 2021 derailment led to the withdrawal of the entire 7000-series line of trains. The Kawasaki-made 7000-series are the newest set of trains in service and the 748 cars comprise about 60% of the fleet.
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 7: A view of the new carpet-less 7000 series metro train is seen on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
The first of the 7000-series trains reentered service in December 2021. In January 2022, Metro officials announced they would not resume service of the trains for about 90 days to allow time to focus on root cause analysis. The return of the trains was pushed back again in March 2022.
Metros says since May 19, they have been focused on training inspectors on required safety processes. They also say they are actively working on Phases 2 and 3 of its return to service plan which will require approval from the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) to incorporate the use of Automated Wayside Inspection System (AWIS) Equipment as part of the inspection process.
Currently, the AWIS system is being configured and tested to eventually monitor wheel measurements on Metro’s entire fleet.
The popular 7000-series trains will first appear on the Green and Yellow Lines. Once railcar personnel have created a steady rhythm of inspections and consistently delivered eight trains for daily service, Metro expects to use the trains to increase service on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines to every 15 minutes in July.