Metro returning some 7000-series cars to tracks Thursday

Eight of Metro’s problematic 7000-series trains are returning to the tracks Thursday.

In a statement Wednesday, the transit agency said it’s finished reviewing its plan to return those cars to the tracks. The 7000-series railcars — which represent over half of Metro’s rail fleet — were pulled out of commission after a Blue Line derailment between the Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations in October.

That derailment was blamed on the wheels’ alignment drifting too far apart.

And for about a month now, the agency has been training inspectors on such processes as daily back-to-back wheel measurements using a digital gauge.

Metro said it’s working on later phases of its return-to-service plan, “which will require approval from the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission to incorporate the use of Automated Wayside Inspection System equipment as part of the inspection process.”

The AWIS system, Metro said, will eventually monitor wheel measurements on the entire Metrorail fleet.

Late last month, Metro said it would return 64 of the cars to service over the next few weeks.

The 7000-series railcars will show up on the Green and Yellow Lines first, Metro said. It expects to boost service on the Blue, Orange and Silver Lines to every 15 minutes starting next month.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer. In a previous life, he helped edit The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

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