October 1, 2022 4:46 am
Metrorail safety is not an option

Metrorail safety is not an option


A week ago, the wheels on a 7000Series Metrorail car on Blue Line decided not to cruise along and so it jumped onto the track. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured.

But, by Monday, both federal and local transit authorities had cut the plug and it’s a good decision.

Metro commuters and Metro workers may experience some inconvenience, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

A few years ago, Metro officials as well as transit enthusiasts were boasting about how safer and more comfortable the subway was because of the 7000 series railcars.

” The list of initiatives that we laid out in Oct 2016 to return Metro to a safe and reliable transit system for customers was admittedly ambitious,” stated Paul Weidefeld, General Manager. “But I’m happy that we are making progress today on many of our key issues which impact the most on riders’ experiences,” said Paul Weidefeld, General Manager.

” One great example of this is the new 7000 series railcars. They are better looking, ride better, sound better and most importantly, work better for our riders,” declared the general manager. “In 2017, we aim to add a new 7000 series car every day. These beautiful, state-of the-art transit cars are already helping to reduce the number of breakdowns that we have. As the number of cars goes up, so do our maintenance problems .”

Either Metro was too optimistic about the 7000 Series, or Metro crews were not able to deliver.

“We believe that the derailment south of Rosslyn was the final of at least three derailments of train 407 on that day,” Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, said Monday at a press conference.

There hasn’t been much talk from the Metro Board, local leaders in D.C. Maryland and Virginia; and Metro affiliated unions.

Not surprising. No one has claimed human error, and no one has demanded that Mr. Wiedefeld is fired. He was second on the board and the Maryland Governor. Larry Hogan had fired him at BWI-Thurgood Marsh Airport.

So Metro’s overseers and passengers escaped a very big one. Three derailments, same day.

Thank goodness there weren’t any corpses, mangled bodies or bloody rescues.

But, Metro leadership cannot afford to pretend that it doesn’t have any problems. The federal experts and trains have spoken.

Metro must solve the 7000Series problem with all of its expertise and speed.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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