WASHINGTON (7News) — Metro is coming closer to bringing back more of its 7000 series trains into service.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced a revised inspection plan of weekly checks of the train wheels instead of daily inspections -- This would allow more of the 7000 series trains to operate -- which would ultimately help cut down on wait times.
7News' Tom Roussey reports that the plan would have to be approved by overseer Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC), which right now is only allowing Metro to run eight of the 7000 series trains a day.
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Metro released the following statement:
"Metro is confident that our request to extend the inspectional interval to seven days provides an ample safety margin to detect any wheel movement before it becomes a safety concern.”
The 7000 series trains have been out of service for most of the last nine months after a derailment on the Blue Line last October that led to an NTSB investigation that exposed safety issues with their wheels. The 7000-series railcars make up the majority of Metro's fleet, so without them wait times for riders have been much longer than normal.
The eight returning eight-car trains have not had a huge impact because they represent just a small portion of the 748 total 7000-series train cars Metro owns.
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Currently, WMSC requires every train car to be inspected by Metro every day the car goes into service to make sure the wheels are the correct distance apart.
New General Manager Randy Clarke has said bringing back more 7000 series trains is a top priority.