FTA issues another safety directive to the Washington Metrorail

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WASHINGTON — Regulatory officials at the Federal Transit Administration want the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to take extra steps to ensure that unattended trainsets are adequately secured on its Metrorail system.

According to a recent FTA report, WMATA workers did not follow the agency’s internal rules and procedures concerning unattended rail equipment for both revenue passenger trains and maintenance machines and equipment in rail yards.

“Preventing unintended movement of rail vehicles is fundamental to safety and WMATA needs to do more to eliminate these types of incidents from happening,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Verifying that a train has been properly secured is a common-sense solution to prevent accidents.”

The Metrorail system has had three incidents since 2014 related to unsecured or unattended train moves, including a December 2015 incident when an empty, two-car Metrorail train rolled away in the New Carrolton rail yard.

The FTA’s report focused on redundant steps to secure rail vehicles for storage, a review of rules and procedures, as well as employee training. The report found that the agency does not provide redundant protection when securing unattended rail moves, the rules and procedures governing the moves are unclear, and employees are not provided with sufficient training on how to properly secure rail equipment.

Transit officials will now be required to develop a corrective action plan that addresses the FTA’s findings.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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