On Thursday, December 23, Metro’s General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld paused the return of additional 7000-series railcars to passenger service, ordering a new regime of daily 7000-series inspections.
Although there are no new issues of concern, the Chief Safety Officer and Chief Operating Officer met with the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (the independent consultant Metro hired to help with its root cause analysis following the derailment) and Metro officials concluded in an abundance of caution that moving to a nightly inspection of 7000-series railcars is the prudent course of action.
Metro notified National Transportation Safety Board and Washington Metrorail Safety Commission this afternoon of the updates to its 7000-series restoration plan.
“While I recognize the pause is unexpected, we are going to continuously evaluate data we are collecting to ensure that we are enhancing safety,” Wiedefeld said. “I feel that requiring a daily inspection is the safest course until we know more and our experts have an opportunity to review the data we are collecting with the few trainsets now in operation.”