Metro will soon expand temporary station closures for track repairs, in place of single tracking. Though shuttle buses will be provided between the affected stations, closures are scheduled to happen around the system for two-thirds of weekends over the next 18 months. Continue reading
The Washington Post wrote Sunday about the Obama administration’s intent to push Congress to implement a large change in how subway safety is regulated and enforced across the country by DOT. Currently, the feds really have no power to set regulations what so ever on subway systems due to a 1965 law passed by Congress that was intended to prevent the government from inhibiting transit growth. Subway safety is typically overseen by a state level agency or, in Metro’s case, an independent Tri-State committee (which the Post notes has exactly zero employees). DOT doesn’t even have the power to make Metro comply with NTSB recommendations today.
It comes as no surprise that this move was triggered by the awful Metro crash in June and the many, many safety incidents that have plagued Metro this year. Our subway system is the second largest in the country, but it is definitely the one that has the most direct effect on Capitol Hill – it moves the majority of Hill staffers to and from work everyday.
According to Dr. Gridlock today, the track circuit behind last month’s crash has apparently been failing to detect trains since a key component was replaced back in December of 2007. The NTSB also said that this component – a part of the WEE-Z bond – is the other end of the paired impedance bonds. The board had said previously it may have been the impedance bond at the other end of the circuit, the one that was replaced five days before the crash.
This new finding now begs the question of Metro: just how bad is their maintenance and trouble-shooting of the train protection system? And what, pray tell, will John “Baghdad Bob” Catoe, Jr. say next?
It’d better include the words “I’m sorry, DC.”