WASHINGTON, D.C. – County commuters handled the shutdown of portions of the D.C. Metrorail’s Orange, Blue and Silver lines as well as officials could have requested of them.
Now, Metro is saying it did its part as well, completing all the necessary repairs during the two-week SafeTrack Surge 2.
On July 5, Metro released its report on Surge 2, declaring “all critical tasks completed.”
“This key junction between Eastern Market and Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road was brought into a state of good repair,” the report reads.
Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld agreed, saying in a statement, “I am satisfied that we are accomplishing our objectives with respect to the pace of track work progress in Surge 2.”
Metro also released photos and video of track workers in the process of making repairs and replacing aging track and structures. Still, confidence in the agency remains low, as ridership has declined by 6 percent on weekdays and customer satisfaction has fallen from 74 percent in 2015 to only 68 percent for the first quarter of this year, according to Metro’s own reports.
In the wake of safety incidents ranging from near-collisions to deadly fires, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has been charged with direct safety oversight of Metro. An FTA spokesman said, however, that FTA is not checking Metro’s work on the SafeTrack repairs. Rather, their role is more about ensuring the agency is implementing and following safety protocols.
“We’re confirming they are putting in place safety precautions for their workers. We’re checking to see whether or not the train operators appropriately use speed reductions on single-tracking areas,” the spokesman said.
The Metro report itself does note, “Surge 2 results are preliminary and subject to quality control processes which will remain continuous throughout the duration of SafeTrack.”
The report says the agency completed more than 100 percent of the planned work during the line segment shutdown from June 18 through July 3. The main focus of the work was to replace four switches at the D&G junction, where the Orange, Silver and Blue lines split after the Stadium Armory station. The switches allow trains to change tracks. This was completed during the surge.
Additionally, crews did extensive replacement of rail line components, including 533 crossties, 2,116 fasteners and 2,754 studs. Workers also added 642 feet of cover board to the electrified third rail.
In the “structures” category, the report claims Metro cleaned 3,160 linear feet of track bed and performed maintenance on 7,148 linear feet of drains. They also worked to correct 69 leaks.
The traction power system for the trains also underwent repairs, with 140 units of tunnel lights repaired and 183 power cables repaired or replaced.
The full report from Metro is available at http://bit.ly/29POkyd.