Metro’s safety watchdog gave the green light to phase in more of the 7000 series railcars starting later this month.
The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) says it has no objections to Metro’s plans to now run up to 20 trains a day, reintroducing the 7000-series to the Red Line. Eight 7000 series trains have been running since June.
Of the railcars that returned to service in June, there have been no issues with the wheels spreading too far apart, which could have been what contributed to a derailment in October.
Given that safety is a top priority, it could be a while before all 7000 series trains return.
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“Metrorail’s plan specifies that it will be up to 20 trains in passenger service on a given day, so that does not mean that it’s the same 20 trains every single day,” said Max Smith of the WMSC. “They have enough cars in the pool of cars they’ve chosen where they can rotate those through so that some are out for inspection while others are running.”
No date has been given for when Metro would be able to bring back the entire fleet of 7000 series trains. WMSC says Metro is still trying to figure out the precise cause of the wheel issues.