Metro Derailment

Safety Questions at Metro After Blue Line Derailment

Metro Board chairman wants answers

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Questions are mounting about potential safety changes at Metro after the recent Blue Line derailment.

Metro Board Chairman Paul Smedberg told News4 he wants answers just like riders and the public.

“You know, what happened?” Smedberg said. “The basic question, what happened?”

Smedberg wants to restore trust and confidence with riders.

“We do understand that this is going to create questions in people’s minds,” he said. “That’s why we have got to get it right. We are going to be as transparent as possible.”

But Metro had known for years there were significant issues with parts of the wheels on its newest railcars – the 7000 series – yet a permanent fix was never made.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld says he and the transit agency are not hiding anything, but the board wasn’t told about this issue.

“That there in and of itself raises a lot of questions,” Smedberg said.

“Look, we have confidence in Paul,” he said.

Smedberg said change is likely following this incident, and sources say the investigation could turn up issues with these types of railcars in other transit systems that use similar models.

Smedberg said a new focus on getting answers will be made.

“Are we asking the right questions? Are we getting the information we need?” he said. “Because one of our main purposes is to have safety oversight.”

On Thursday, Metro is expected to give an update on getting more railcars on the tracks. More railcars are expected to be ready at some point next week, but there’s still no timetable on getting the 7000 series cars back in service.

Many riders have been waiting as long as 30-40 minutes for trains to show up this week. However, bus ridership has increased.

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