Service on the Red Line near the Fort Totten Metrorail station has returned to normal after a fatal train collision in June, which resulted in slower Metrorail service along the Red Line in the Washington, D.C., area.
"We hope our customers are
seeing an improvement in train movement, and we thank them for their patience,"
said Metro Deputy General Manager Gerald Francis. Red Line trains are no
longer traveling at reduced speeds or taking turns moving one at a time between
the Fort Totten and Takoma Metrorail stations.
Maintenance program repairs
in the Fort Totten Metrorail station area have been implemented, including
replacing original track equipment dating back to the 1970s. Metro has
increased capacity on the Red Line by operating more trains during the morning
and afternoon rush hour periods. The number of trains has increased from 38
trains to 44 trains.
While repairs have been
completed near the Fort Totten Metrorail station, Metro officials are
continuing to make repairs to track circuits near the Takoma and Silver Spring
Metrorail stations, as part of a previously scheduled maintenance program. As a
result of this work, trains will share one track between these locations from
about 10 p.m. until closing between Sunday and Thursday nights. Customers are
not likely to notice a delay because trains operate every 15 to 20 minutes
during those times. This work is expected to take four to six weeks, and this
project is part of a 2006 contract to upgrade track circuits at 22 locations
throughout the Metrorail system.
Metro had been replacing
the track circuit in the area of the accident since early August. In order to
accelerate the circuit replacement, work was done late at night and the Red
Line was closed at Fort Totten Metrorail station for two weekends.
Metro customers may still
encounter delays system wide due to scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.
"Metro is an aging system
and many components are in need of repair and replacement," said Francis. "In
fact, Metro has identified $11 billion in unfunded capital needs over the next decade."
Metro is continuing to run twice-daily computerized tests
of all of its track circuits, once after each rush hour, or 14 times per week.
Metrorail trains are continuing to be operated manually by train operators and
will continue in manual mode until further notice. The National
Transportation Safety Board is conducting an investigation of the June 22
collision and is focusing on track circuit modules located in a train control
room. A cause of the accident has not yet been determined.