Metro’s Red Line to Go Automatic Monday

Metro said some Red Line trains will soon be returning to automatic mode.

It's a significant milestone for the agency, which has run trains in manual mode since the 2009 train crash that killed nine people.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said starting Monday eight car trains will run in automatic mode. Trains will accelerate, decelerate and stop under computer control, making for a smoother ride.

"This is not a decision that we came to lightly. This is the culmination of years of work," said WMATA spokesperson Dan Stessel.

Train operators will be in the cab of each train to open and close doors and make announcements. Stessel said six-car trains, which make up about half the trains on the Red Line, will operate in manual mode until after a software upgrade later this year.

WMATA said it has completed work on recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board after the fatal 2009 crash. One train crashed into a stopped train between the Takoma and Fort Totten stations after the automated system failed.

Metro's five other rail lines are expected to return to automatic train operation in late 2017.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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