Metro update on Tuesday’s Orange/Blue Line incident

Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

From a WMATA Press Release:

This morning, Metro conducted a post-incident review of yesterday’s incident that caused the emergency evacuation of riders and prompted an investigation of a mechanical failure on one of its 5000-series rail cars.

“I want to thank the D.C. Fire Department for its leadership and recognize the outstanding job they did, both on incident command and on the safe evacuation of our passengers,” General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Richard Sarles said. “Our review this morning concluded that the methodical and deliberate plan that was developed with the highest safety precautions possible, combined with the exemplary work of fire, transit police and safety officials resulted in a safe and orderly evacuation in a reasonable time frame.”

While the root cause of the loss of the friction ring from Blue Line train #406 has not yet been determined, Metro officials have further identified that the loss of the friction ring is related to a potential hub failure — a part of the brake assembly that holds the friction ring in place. The cause of the possible hub failure remains under review. Metro has identified 34 hubs from the same batch on sixteen 5000-series rail cars. Those sixteen cars have been removed from service while inspections continue.

The review also identified two areas where Metro will be focused on after-action improvements. The first is improving customer communications to passengers aboard standing trains and to others before they arrive at the impacted stations, as well as those traveling throughout the system. The second area is radio communications that are challenging in certain underground locations. Signal boosting technology continues to be tested in several locations, and is being conducted today to identify possible solutions to improve radio performance.

2 Comment

  • “further identified that the loss of the friction ring is related to a potential hub failure”

    Is this Metro-talk for “the brakes stopped working?”

    • Ugh. No, it’s PR-speak for “the friction ring probably fell off because the part that holds it on (i.e. the hub) broke.”

      I’m pretty sure that the brakes still worked because the train that the ring fell off of stopped at the next station.

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