WASHINGTON — Metro has been ordered to take action right away in certain parts of the rail system to reduce the chances of another smoke or fire incident.
And the directives might delay the start of Metro’s plan to attack safety troubles system wide.
In a letter sent Wednesday, The Federal Transit Administration ordered Metro to focus its repair and maintenance work in three segments of the system:
- Between Medical Center and Van Ness on the Red Line
- Near Potomac Avenue on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines
- Between Ballston-MU and East Falls Church on the Orange and Silver lines.
The order spells out that Metro must do things such as inspect power cables and clean drains.
As a result of the order, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says in a statement that the SafeTrack repair and maintenance plan unveiled last week will have to be updated.
Stessel says the release of the final plan will likely be delayed.
Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld had hoped to finalize the plan by May 16 and start work in June.
The SafeTrack plan involves either single tracking or completely shutting down certain stretches of track for as long as several weeks at a time.
It also includes a plan to close the rail system two hours early — at midnight — on Friday and Saturday nights.
”It is important for riders to know that Metro GM Wiedefeld is not waiting on safety items,” Metro said in an emailed response to the order.
Read the full letter below: