Metrorail reduced service to continue through end of October
WASHINGTON - Metro will continue operating at reduced service levels through at least the end of October, officials say. The service update was announced at a safety meeting Friday.
The decision comes several days after the transit system pulled more than half its fleet of trains from service due to a lingering problem with the wheels and axles that led to a derailing last week.
During this time, officials say trains will operate basic service every 15-20 minutes on the Red Line and every 30-40 minutes on all other lines. Silver Line service will continue to operate between Wiehle-Reston East and Federal Center SW only.
DC METRO TRAIN DERAILED AT LEAST 3 TIMES IN SAME DAY PRIOR TO SERVICE BEING SUSPENDED: NTSB SAYS
"We understand it has been a difficult week for people who depend on Metro in the region, and acknowledge the challenges our customers are experiencing," said Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld in a statement. "We are working as quickly and safely as possible to inspect every wheel on the 7000-series railcars and it’s important to get that right."
Metro officials say all but about 100 cars in the 7000-series fleet have been inspected. They are also putting additional trains into service - including some 2000-series railcars from storage and 6000-series railcars which are undergoing maintenance repairs.
DC METRO PULLS 60 PERCENT OF FLEET DUE TO DERAILMENT SAFETY CONCERNS
The wheel issue is being blamed for an October 12 incident in which a train car slipped off the tracks on the Metro’s Blue Line near Arlington National Cemetery. Passengers were stuck inside a tunnel and had to be evacuated from the stranded car.
Several days after the derailment, the transit system's safety commission ordered 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.
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At a press conference Monday, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said that a design flaw had been identified which caused the trains’ wheels to spread too wide on the axles, allowing the carriage to slip off the tracks.