(RightIsRight.co) – Most riders assume their train or bus is in good working order and that they will get to their destination safely when traveling on public transportation. While this is perfectly reasonable, it may not have been true for over half the trains in the DC-metropolitan area. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) just pulled over half its fleet from the tracks after axle issues came to light.
On Monday, October 18, the WMATA announced around 60% of its metro fleet would be out of service for at least a few days. The notice came after a train derailed three times the previous week due to wheel and axle issues, leading to an evacuation of the Metro’s Blue Line.
DC-news outlet DCist shared more about the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the issues:
A federal safety investigation says Metro knew about issues with the wheels on the 7000-series trains since 2017. It's unclear when those trains will be added back to the active fleet. https://t.co/QUgHkgtdbD pic.twitter.com/4gevF3U3He
— DCist (@DCist) October 19, 2021
Kawasaki manufactured the trains in question, but as of now, no other city or transit authority has identified similar problems within its fleet. The WMATA has used these rail cars since 2015 and has had minor incidents with the wheels since 2017. The reports left many DC commuters and tourists wondering why Metro waited until now to investigate the issues, leaving most residents with enormous commute times if they’re able to catch a train at all. Hopefully, this gets resolved quickly for the sake of commuters, tourists and the local economy.
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