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Faulty Circuitry In Metro Tracks Found

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:53 PM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical
Tags: Metro Train Crash, Washington D.C., National Transportation Safety Board

Faultry train track circuitry has been identified by investigators in the D.C. Metro train crash.

Faulty Circuitry Identified 


IMAGE SOURCE:  Wikimedia Commons/ Red Line New York Avenue Metro Station, Washington D.C. / author: Ben Schumin, November 2004 

In looking for the causes of a Metro train crash on Monday that killed nine people, investigators are focusing on what might be a faulty section of track circuitry, reports the New York Times

In the area near the above-ground crash, in downtown Washington D.C., “anomalies” in one of the stretches of track, or circuits, have been found. 

Debbie Hersman of the National Transportation Safety Board says all of the circuits showed problems except for one.  The circuits receive signals that generate speed commands for the train.  If the signal system was working properly, the train behind should have been stopped before it ran over the standing train ahead.  

"We’re going to have access to the track, circuitry and the signal system, and we want to look very closely at that,” said Ms. Hersman. Teams will conduct tests at the scene.

At a news conference Wednesday, Metro transit system officials admitted a lack of money prevented replacing the older train cars, known as the 1000-series, which have at tendency to accordion in a crash.   The 300 of that series are almost twenty years old and would cost almost $1 billion to replace.

One temporary solution suggested is to place the older cars in the middle of the train, to reduce the chance of collapsing on passengers in a crash.  #

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