Metro reports fewer trains running red signals

WASHINGTON — Fewer Metro trains and other rail vehicles are blowing through red signals this year than any time since at least 2012, data provided to WTOP suggests.

The Federal Transit Administration said Metro has reported five red signal violations so far this year, half as many as at this point last year. Two of this year’s violations were in rail yards, while three operators passed stop signals on main line tracks.

The three incidents on main line tracks were Jan. 18, Jan. 31 and Apr. 1. The two reported rail yard violations were also in the first quarter of the year. In May, the FTA warned that the number of violations was getting worse this year, not better, despite repeated warnings.

With no reported red signal violations since the first part of the year, the average number of incidents has dropped below one per month in a calendar year for the first time since 2013 when Metro reported 11 violations. At this time last year, Metro was averaging about 1.4 per month, the same rate as 2012.

The FTA just approved three additional corrective action plans aimed at reducing the number of dangerous red light violations. Eight other corrective action plans were approved earlier this year.

In the past, trains that have passed red signals have risked head-on collisions, derailments or running over workers on the tracks.

Metro has run fewer trains this year than in the past due to hours and service reductions and 24/7 work zones.

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