More Metro staff for Monday morning

WASHINGTON – Twice during the weekend computer problems caused all Metro trains to stop, but Metro says there’s not evidence of hacking.

Instead Metro says there were software issues.

For Monday there will be extra supervisory staff while Metro sorts out the specific cause. If another incident occurs, riders won’t be stuck as long as over the weekend.

Within a 12-hour period over the weekend, all Metro trains had to be halted after a key computer system crashed in Metro’s control center.

Controllers couldn’t see the moving map of where trains were. It happened shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday for a half hour. Then the problem occurred again early Sunday, from about 12:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says all trains continued on to their next stations, then sat there with the doors open until the computers came back up.

“The trains had the ability to be notified if there was a train ahead of them on the tracks, but, in an abundance of caution, our standard protocol calls for trains to be brought into the nearest station and held there,” Stessel says.

“I do want to assure everyone that the signal system, the system that keeps trains properly spaced from each other, did remain operational. Those systems were up and running at all times,” Stessel says.

Riders on Sunday experienced delays on all lines, but not because of the computer problems. Track work was underway.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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