Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend
So much for stopping the bleeding.
“Metro has completed its review of a safety concern raised by ATU Local 689 regarding inspection procedures for an electrical component on 7000-series railcars. The review, conducted with Metro engineers and engineers from the railcar manufacturer, found that the inspection procedures currently in place are appropriate and consistent with manufacturer guidelines. As such, mechanical inspections of 7000-series railcars will resume this afternoon following additional safety briefings with employees to reinforce these procedures.
“Part of creating a safety culture means taking immediate action to address concerns raised by employees. If a concern cannot be immediately resolved or requires further investigation, sometimes additional steps–such as a safety stand-down–must be taken in an abundance of caution,” said Metro Chief Safety Officer Patrick Lavin. “We encourage the reporting of safety concerns, and thank our customers for their understanding as we place safety first.”
Overnight, consistent with Metro’s position that “safety trumps service,” the transit agency voluntarily initiated a “safety stand-down,” temporarily suspending mechanical inspections of 7000-series cars until the union’s concern could be reviewed. The action resulted in about 18 percent fewer trainsets being available for service this morning.
The resolution of this matter means approximately 20 additional 7000-series trains will be available for the afternoon rush hour, and customers can expect a relatively normal afternoon commute. (The proportion of six-car trains versus eight-car trains may be slightly higher than normal this afternoon as Metro works to resolve the inspection backlog and place more cars in service.)”
“Metro advises customers to expect fewer trains, possible crowding as safety concern is reviewed
Following a safety concern raised by ATU Local 689, Metro voluntarily initiated a “safety stand-down” that resulted in the temporary suspension of mechanical inspections on 7000-series railcars. The concern raised by the union involved procedures for inspecting ground brushes, which are part of the train’s undercarriage that return negative electrical current to the rails.
Railcars must undergo a daily inspection in order to operate. The suspension of maintenance inspections, a voluntary action taken by Metro until the safety concern is resolved, has had the effect of fewer railcars being available for passenger service. As a result, Metro customers today may experience:
Fewer 8-car trains.
Longer waits between trains.
Metro has scheduled meetings with the railcar manufacturer and union representatives this morning to review and discuss the union’s concern. An update is expected in the early afternoon today.”
Woody reports at 9am:
“Chinatown metro north to Shady Grove is a gross situation right now. No AC, trains running every 20 minutes.”