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Metro discovers new shocking problem with 7000 series cars

metro logoA component in Metro’s newest rail car series is breaking prematurely and its manufacturer has designed a modification to fix it, Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel said.

David Stephen, spokesperson for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, said a mechanic reported he was shocked while inspecting part of the underside of the 7000 series rail car Sept. 17. He called on Metro officials to pause inspection of 7000 series rail cars until after briefing railcar mechanics on potential hazards of inspecting and repairing the newest series of railcar.

“As a result of this incident, ATU Local 689 is demanding Metro not bring any 7000-series trains into the shop until all employees that come in contact with them are properly informed on the potential for hazards, and training is given on bringing trains to manufacturer specification (to date, railcar mechanics have yet to be trained on maintaining 7000-series cars),” Stephen said in a statement.

Stessel confirmed the mechanic was shocked while inspecting a railcar, adding the incident occurred at West Falls Church Rail Yard. He said the mechanic was not injured.

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Manufacturer modifying Metro 7K rail cars after electric shock incident

Rail car part deteriorating prematurely, Metro official says

metro logoA component in Metro’s newest rail car series is breaking prematurely, and their manufacturer has designed a modification to fix it, Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel said Thursday.

A mechanic reported he suffered electrical shock while he was inspecting part of the underside of the 7000 series rail car at West Falls Church Rail Yard on Sunday, Stessel confirmed. This was related to the deteriorating rail car part, the ground brush. However, he suffered no serious injury. The mechanic said he did not want medical attention. However, Metro staff took him to a local hospital.

Stessel confirmed a problem is developing with the 7000 series trains, the newest in the Metrorail fleet.

“Yes, there were defective wires, there was a problem within the ground brush assembly itself and that problem is mitigated by the safety bulletin we put out,” Stessel said.

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Metro finally retiring oldest cars

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NTSB first warned subway system about danger following 2004 incident

metro logoWASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board says Metro’s 1000 series cars have to go and a Metro spokesman claims they will be gone in a few weeks.

But the problem goes back more than a decade, to 2006 when the NTSB first told Metro managers they might need to replace the aging cars following an investigation into a 2004 acciddent.

Meanwhile Metro continues to operate 34 of its original rail cars to transport passengers, despite the National Transportation Safety Board’s 2010 recommendation to remove them.

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Metro Examines Fasteners

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Vibrations on the Green Line and possible ties to derailments explored in subway

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WASHINGTON – Metro’s chief safety officer, Pat Lavin, said Tuesday Metro is investigating a possible connection between Metro rail fasteners and shaking houses located above the Green Line.

Inspectors say some of the fasteners may have been less than a day old when discovered broken.

“I wouldn’t say the rail clips are defective,” Lavin said. “If there’s an issue with a certain clip or a certain batch, those would be explored.”

Residents of D.C. neighborhood Petworth, located above the Green Line, complained to Metro executives last year they believe trains are causing their houses to shake and to vibrate, Metro said.

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Metro examines possible effects of heft and vibrations from newer subway cars

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WASHINGTON – Metro is investigating residents’ complaints that trains are causing damage to D.C. homes, according to a spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the organization has been looking for rail fasteners that can hold more weight.

Spokesperson Richard Jordan said in a statement Metro is investigating the claims as well as whether Metro even has a role in the vibrations that those D.C. residents reported.

“Metro has retained an independent third-party expert (Wilson Ihrig) to conduct field measurements following complaints of vibration from residents along a specific section of the Green Line,” Jordan said Wednesday. “While Metro has not confirmed the cause or severity of these vibrations – or even confirmed that the complaints are Metro-related, we have committed to conducting independent testing to determine next steps.”

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Wet tracks and heavy axles add to more Metro problems

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Metro single-tracked trains between two Yellow Line stations for three hours as workers sealed off a small hole that was spraying water into a tunnel, according to a news release.

Trains single-tracked between L’Enfant Plaza and Pentagon City stations on the Yellow Line after a Metro train operator reported seeing water entering a tunnel near L’Enfant Plaza Station around 11:30 a.m. March 16, according to a news release. At 2:30 p.m., the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reported workers repaired the tunnel leak and restored the formerly de-energized track to service.

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Metro GM running out of “tools in the toolbox” to fix budget shortfall

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Metro’s general manager told the Metro Board of Directors’ finance committee that budget shortfalls may lead the public transit system back to the jurisdictions to ask for more money.

Board Chairman and D.C. Council member Jack Evans as well as Board member Michael Goldman have said they believe Metro will have to raise fares and reduce service, as Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld had proposed, for the FY 2018 budget because Metro needs the money.

Wiedefeld said Metro hopes to close the FY 2017 budget gap but that it might not be enough.

"The reality is, we are very close to (debt),” Wiedefeld said.

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Metro transports first 4000 series railcar to scrap yard

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4000 series retire- courtesy of MetroThe first of the 4000 series railcars was loaded onto a tractor trailer bound for the scrap heap to be replaced by a newer model. COURTESY PHOTO  

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority transported the first of the system's least reliable railcar series to a scrap yard Wednesday to be replaced by a 7000 series railcar.

"The 4000 are dogs, lemons, bananas, whatever you want to call them," said Metro board member Tom Bulger, who represents Washington, D.C. "They haven't performed as well."

Bulger said the gradual replacement of the 4000 series railcars, the least reliable of the fleet, will lead to fewer delays for riders.

"We think it's going to be a great thing for our customers, our patrons, and not have as many breakdowns," Bulger said.

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Metro official says new 7000 series railcars are not meeting Metro’s goals for reliability

  • Published in Local

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WASHINGTON –Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s chief operating officer said at a board committee meeting Thursday that Metro’s 7000 series railcars are not meeting Metro’s goals for railcar reliability.

Joe Leader, chief operating officer for Metro, described the Metro’s fleet critically.

"I would refer to it as poor and inconsistent,” said Leader regarding Metro fleet performance over time.

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