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Metro fires another inspector

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Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld has fired another track inspector in connection with falsifying reports, a former track inspector said Jan. 4.

David Stephen, spokesperson for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, said Jan. 5 that union members, including track inspectors, could not be available for interviews. Stephen said Metro’s firing individuals after safety issues occur fails to address the problems themselves.

“It’s their responsibility to hold the systemic problems of the system accountable, and they have not done that,” Stephen said of Metro.

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FIRED!

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Metro gets rid of six on inspection team following the Silver Line derailment

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WASHINGTON – Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said Thursday he fired six track inspectors and supervisors after Metro Transit Police finished investigating a train derailment for criminal activity.

“I want the board, our employees and our customers to know that this review revealed a disturbing level of indifference, lack of accountability, and flagrant misconduct in a portion of Metro’s track department which is completely intolerable,” Wiedefeld said at the Board Safety Committee meeting Thursday.

Two cars of a Metrorail train moved off the rails July 29, injuring three people. Emergency personnel took one to the hospital for a minor head injury.

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Keeping the priorities straight

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I woke to a television commercial featuring a beautiful young woman whose sole purpose in life seems to be selling a spray that eliminates “poo odor” after you make a fecal deposit in your bathroom.
“Oh the humanity,” as Les Nessman would say.

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Two cars separate from one of Metro’s newest trains

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Metro car separationPassengers had to evacuate when two cars detached from one of Metro's newest 7000 series trains.   PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMIE GARRISON  

Metro is investigating two cars detaching from one of Metro’s new 7000 series trains while carrying passengers on the Red Line just before 9 a.m. Monday.

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Metro contemplates closing early

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Metro folo -Fort Totten 11-22-16- courtesyBack ups at Fort Totten Metro station. COURTESY PHOTO  

After hosting a public hearing and analyzing survey responses, Metro staffers said Monday they recommend Metro close at 11:30 p.m. on weekdays, half an hour earlier than its current closing time of midnight.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said Metro needs to reduce its hours of service to allow more time for crews to perform maintenance and inspect tracks.

Otherwise, he said Metro will develop another backlog of deferred maintenance.

“We cannot get through (SafeTrack) and then go back to business as normal,” Wiedefeld told the Metro Board of Directors in July.

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Metro tackles variety of problems including 'smoldering' rail ties

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WASHINGTON – Several problems plagued the Metro and delayed service on the Red, Orange, Green and Blue lines this week including a smoldering wooden rail tie Monday that forced passengers to offload from the Red Line, spokesperson Ron Holzer said.

Holzer said a Metro supervisor extinguished the burning tie before it burst into flames and with minimal damage.

Meanwhile, riders on the Green and Yellow lines experienced delays Tuesday morning because the door to a railcar wouldn’t open at Georgia Avenue Station, Holzer said. 

The Metro safety department is also working on a response to safety directives from the Federal Transit Administration regarding protection of workers on the tracks. Metro’s Chief Safety Officer Pat Lavin told a board committee Thursday the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority workers in some sections of track will soon be issued wrist bands which will provide notice of oncoming trains.

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And now it's time for more Red Line delays

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WASHINGTON – Metro’s general manager advises all Red Line riders to travel outside rush during the tenth “safety surge,” which started last weekend.

It involves shutting down two stations and reduced service until the week of Thanksgiving.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the Red Line is the oldest in the system has the most riders.

He said Metro maintenance is decades behind, and Metro needs to make repairs and completely replace a crossover because problems will continue to worsen over time.

“We’re eliminating other things that are really bad,” Wiedefeld said. “It’s not as clear as opening a new station… Infrastructure that supports it will be strong for years.”

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Metro Chief urges riders to show understanding

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Metro fireA fire in a Metro tunnel earlier this year. FILE PHOTO  

WASHINGTON – Citing several Metro tragedies, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld urged sports fans Thursday who opposed service cuts to give him a break.

Dozens of Metro riders took the opportunity Thursday to testify against the general manager’s proposal to permanently cut late evening service hours to allow for more maintenance, inspections and repairs. Some riders spoke out about the proposal prior to the public hearing.

Washington Nationals fans complained, chanting, “Metro sucks!” about finding alternate transportation when Metro closed before the end of a playoff a couple of weeks ago.

 Wiedefeld advised sports fans opposing the eight hours of service cuts to think about the worst safety incidents in Metro that stemmed from maintenance issues in the last few years.

“I think they have to understand that – just look back at the recent history of the agency and the tragedies that we’ve had,” Wiedefeld said, referencing the deadly L’Enfant Plaza smoke incident last year. “That’s what’s happening in my mind.”

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Metro taken to task again for safety

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WASHINGTON – The day after crowds of Washington Nationals fans chanted “Metro sucks” when they heard the SafeTrack early closing time, management evacuated a Red Line train Friday because smoke was coming from one of the brakes.

Brakes aren’t the only thing that can smoke on Metro.

Metro ran trains on a single track around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday because the support, or insulator, of the power-source third rail arced.

According to Metro officials, arcing insulators cause smoke and sometimes sparks.

Metro spokesperson Morgan Dye said Metro offloaded the Friday Red Line train because there was a brake malfunction. Initially she said there was no smoke or fire. Later she confirmed the brake malfunction and absence of fire.

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