Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Just How Safe are the Trains?

From Steve:
I experienced something alarming on my Metro train the morning of May 9 that I'd like to report.

I was traveling on the Red Line between Union Station and Silver Spring. Silver Spring was the final stop of this train, as it was reversing and going back into the District. I was in car number 4088, and it was the train the arrived at Silver Spring at 8:38 a.m.

Around Ft. Totten, a Metro employee who appeared to be some sort of an inspector entered the rear of my car from the last car and contacted the train operator on his radio.
He told the operator the last car had brake problems and that he needed to keep his braking "below B3." Further down the line, as we approached Silver Spring, the inspector contacted the operator again and told him, "Come on, man, I need you to hold that braking to below B3. I want to try to get this train back over the line."
The operator apologized and said something about "overspeeding." The inspector said, "Then keep your speed 5 miles below the limit to keep from overspeeding." The operator responds that "it just changed by itself."

The fact that the train was having some sort of braking problems that warranted the operator to drive below the listed speed, and that when talking about the train's speed the operator said "it just changed by itself," and that despite all this the train continued to carry passengers, are alarming to say the least.

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Metro "fires" two workers for stealing (Examiner)
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