Metro: Don’t expect A/C ‘perfection’ on scorcher days

Adam Tuss,

WASHINGTON — The last place commuters want to be on a sweltering day is on a hot, packed Metro train, but some riders may face that situation Wednesday and Thursday.

The transit agency has been making a push to fix and maintain the cooling systems on all rail cars, specifically the 1000 and 5000 series rail cars. Forty percent of condensers and evaporators on the 1000 series cars have been replaced, and 78 percent of condensers and evaporators on the 5000 series have been replaced.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be issues.

“Extremely hot temperatures place a great strain on the equipment, and I certainly would not expect perfection on a 100-degree day,” says Metro chief spokesman Dan Stessel.

Stessel could not give an exact figure on the number of rail cars that have failing air conditioning units. He did say, however, that it is a low, single- digit percentage.

“Customers encountering a hot rail car should report the car, preferably to their train operator or a station manager as they leave the system. Be sure to provide the car number and direction of travel,” he says.

You can find the rail car number on the outside of the car.

Riders may also notice some rail cars that are empty and dark on Wednesday. Metro often isolates rail cars that are too hot until a mechanic can get in and work on the car.

Metro riders have been pointing out hot cars on Twitter. Use the hashtag #HotCar to report faulty air conditioning.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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