Senate committee asks Metro for updates on 7000 series derailment investigation


Four senators wrote a letter to Metro’s chief executive requesting updates on the current state of investigations into an issue with the 7000 series cars that derailed a train in October.

Four senators wrote a letter to Metro’s chief executive requesting updates on the current state of investigations into an issue with the 7000 series cars that derailed a train in October.

Sense. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) And Sherrod Brown (D-Oh.) – all of whom are members of the Senate Banking and Housing Committee, and Urban Affairs – asked the managing director of the transit agency, Paul Wiedefeld, for details on the circumstances that led to the Blue Line derailment that forced Metro to remove all of its 7000 series wagons from the system.

Committee members pointed out that Metro and Kawasaki – the maker of the wagons – were aware of the wheel alignment issues that ultimately caused problems since 2017 and have been working on ways to fix the issue since then.

They asked Metro to provide the committee with a detailed schedule of actions, reports and records relating to the wheel safety issues of the 7000 series cars.

The letter requested Metro to provide a detailed schedule of all actions taken regarding the wheel issues with the 7000 series trains. This included correspondence with Kawasaki or other wagon parts suppliers related to the assembly issue. wheels, and any analysis of the safety risks posed by the assembly, Metro or other external consultants.



Finally, the senators asked Metro to provide full details on the costs caused by the problems associated with the faulty assembly of the wheels of the 7000 series wagons.

A Metro spokeswoman told WTOP that the transit agency received the committee’s letter and appreciated their oversight.

“We are reviewing their request and look forward to submitting a timely response,” Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly said.

An analysis of the Blue Line derailment on October 12, 2021 by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the incident could potentially result in death and injury to passengers. No serious injuries were reported as a result of the derailment, although one person was transported to a nearby hospital.

Metro withdrew all 7000 series trains as a result of the incident, resulting in a significant reduction in service as the newer cars made up the majority of the transit agency’s fleet.

Older 2000 and 3000 series cars were put back into the system to help alleviate delays, but Metro admitted that normal service would not resume until the 7000 series trains were able to get back on track. lanes.

To that end, they submitted a plan to have the wheel assemblies tested on a regular basis to detect any misalignment between the axle and the wheels that could cause a derailment.

Once the trains start returning to the tracks, Wiedefeld warned on Thursday that they would be brought back gradually and that the normal working state of the public transport system would not return overnight.

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