Metro Completes Inspections After Friday Equipment Failure

Brake assemblies examined

By Natalie Lopez
|  Monday, Jan 9, 2012  |  Updated 2:38 PM EDT
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Metro completed inspections of 464 rail cars over the weekend, following a mechanical failure on an Orange line train Friday.

A New Carrollton-bound train had a friction ring fall off one of its 2000-series cars around noon on December 6. Friction rings are part of the metro cars braking system.  A Metro worker noticed the problem and alerted the driver of the train, who was able to stop without any issues and return to the station to safely offload passengers.

The failure triggered inspections of brake assemblies on all 2000, 3000, and 4000-series rail cars on over the weekend.

Metro said in a Monday morning release that an investigation into the incident continues, but did not say what caused the part to fall off.  As a precaution, the agency says it replaced more than 290 friction rings from brake assemblies that showed wear.  Metro says this additional fix exceeds the standards of maintenance set by the original equipment manufacturer.

In December, Metro tested 194 5000-series cars after a friction ring, which is a redundant part, fell off a train between the L’Enfant Plaza and Smithsonian stations. Metro says Friday's incident was not related. The incidents involved different designs and different manufacturers, according to spokesperson Dan Stessel said.

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