Metro Update! 50% Completed and “already identified a half dozen areas where damaged jumper cables and connector boots are being replaced.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood


“I wanted to provide you with an update on the Metrorail inspections that have taken place since last night. This is an interim update and we will be providing more information later this afternoon.

We have reached the 50% completion mark in the cable inspection process and Metro has already identified a half dozen areas where damaged jumper cables and connector boots are being replaced.

In the overnight and morning hours, Metro deployed 22 teams to inspect the third rail power system. Walking though miles of tunnel using 14 prime movers to move supplies and materials, the teams are inspecting 22 underground zones. The teams — consisting of Metro employees, contractors, and outside electrical engineering experts — are inspecting jumper cables, cable connecting boots, and the environment around the cables. The teams are looking for damaged cables, damaged boots, and debris near cables that would could pose a fire hazard. Behind the inspection teams are 3 cable construction crews who are replacing and repairing any locations that are identified for immediate action.

Meanwhile, Metro’s Safety investigators are reviewing the history of the damaged boots and cables we found. All findings will be shared with FTA and NTSB.

Any changes to procedures, materials, and management of the third rail power system that is needed as a result of these findings will be made expeditiously at the conclusion of the investigation.

Ann E. Chisholm
Government Relations Officer – District of Columbia

For our commuters this morning, travel on Metrobus was extremely heavy in some areas. About 50 additional buses were placed into service, largely on DC school routes, which reported no heavy crowding.”

26 Comment

  • I’m conflicted on telling them “good job” or giving them s*** for not finding these issues sooner

    • Yeah, I thought this same drill was done after the L’Enfant Plaza fire. Who’s accountable for whatever was missed and/or shoddily repaired?!?!?

  • SweetEpiphany

    This transparency is a nice change from how these matters used to be handled. Baby steps are good.

  • This is a nice change from the secretive and dangerous way things have been conducted in the past. Please keep up the transparency. We all know the system is old and broken already just let us know that you are fixing it.

  • maxwell smart

    Is it weird to have a feeling of relief that this shutdown produced actual results given that anyone of these damaged cables was a fire just waiting to happen.

    • no, I think that’s a perfectly logical feeling! I too, feel relieved and happy to know that this shut-down is actually achieving something, but pissed to think about how many people shirked their duties or just didn’t give a sh!t to bother fixing this before now!

    • A part of me is hoping there’s going to be some report after this showing a bunch of spots where basically a fire could’ve occurred at any minute, and it would be a wake-up call to the metro powers that be.

  • I’m optimistic. This new GM actually seems like he CARES! It’s scary as hell that metro has just been driving around not doing basic maintenance and inspections, but maybe this is the beginning of much needed change.

    • Agreed. Not only seems like he cares, but knows what steps to take and how to take them. I honestly have been very impressed so far.

  • It’s curious that there was no mention of opening or closing Metro tomorrow.

    • yep..

      I was listening at work yesterday. Newschannel 8 or NBC 4 said (let it slip?) that “metro would be closed for at least 29 hours”. that is very different from “metro will be closed for 29 hours.” The latter is what were informed of at work. Not sure if the “at least” came from the news writer or Metro-verbatim.

  • I appreciate the transparency like everyone else but I wish they at least used some plain language or provided a bit more description. What exactly are jumper cables and connecting boots?

  • 50% completed and a half dozen areas needing attention, does anyone still want to ride metro tomorrow when/if it re-opens?

    • They’re 50% completed 38% of the way through the 29-hour shutdown. Sounds good to me.

      • I definitely believe that its good progress. Just wondering if everything can be fixed over night. Maybe they can open the system and single track where necessary why they continue to work or maybe they can fix everything over night. Who knows…

        • maxwell smart

          I saw earlier an interview with Jack Evans and his understanding was that anything that was not fixed today would have single-tracking tomorrow, etc until it is fixed.

    • From what I heard they also fixed some things at the same time when they could given the crunch.

  • I Dont Get It

    In that these were inspected a year ago, who will be fired since issues are still being discovered.

    • Yea, wasn’t this what was supposed to happen after the first major fire/death?

      Props to Pauly W so far.

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