WASHINGTON - Metro announce Friday that it is returning more of 7000 series trains to service starting on September 12.
According to a press release from Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the return marks "a significant step in the restoration of all 7000-series railcars, which is key to Metro’s plan to improve train frequency for customers."
The return to service plan, which was approved by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission’s approval, will allow for Metro to safely operate up to 20 of its 7000-series trains per day. Right now, the limit is set at eight trains.
The 7000 series trains have been dubbed by Metro as the safest cars the transportation system has to offer.
Despite that, 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.
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.
Limited numbers of the trains finally returned to service in June 2022.
"Our 7000-series trains are the newest and most reliable in Metro’s fleet, and they are key to providing the level of service our customers want and deserve," said Randy Clarke, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. "In my frequent conversations with Metro customers, I hear over and over that more frequent service and more 7000-series trains on the tracks are a top priority, and that’s what we’re working to deliver."
According to Metro, since returning some 7000 series train to use, no issues have been found in those trains.
Metro will announce new rail schedules next week that will account for the extra trains returning to service.