Monday, June 08, 2015

NTSB orders DC Metro to make massive safety changes to electrical connections, possible disruptions?

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a report showing that the Washington DC Metro was deficient in installing and maintaining power supply connections to the third rail in many locations throughout the system.  This definitely caused a smoke incident in Arlington and it may have caused the L’Enfant Plaza fire on Jan. 12, resulting in one fatality.  The NTSB link is here

Apparently the NTSB wants Metro to fix these problems quickly.  Will that mean even more disruptions to service?

I’ve long argued that Metro should arrange efficient late-night express bus service along its routes (six busses per train) to keep people moving while it completes work.
In the meantime, the City has been hostile to parking and driving, making it difficult for many businesses to function.

Update: June 12

Metro plans to single track many lines weekday afternoons over the next 15 months to make repairs.  A typical line would take about a month of weekday single tracking to complete.  Paul Duggan has the story here in the Washington Post.  The lines with the deepest and longest tunnels (Orange, Red) might get attention first.  Other cities, especially New York, are likely to make similar repairs (but NYC usually has double tracks both sides in most populated areas).  


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