WMSC Issues Order to Metrorail Over Train Operator Certification Requirements

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Courtesy of WMSC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An order from the WMSC shows it had communicated deficiencies in train operator requirements multiple times in 2023 and 2024.

The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) has issued an order regarding Metrorail’s noncompliance with train operator certification requirements. In a release, the review shows that Metrorail is “designating train operators as certified despite their certification documents indicating that those individuals had not attempted or successfully completed required tasks that are specifically included in Metrorail’s Performance Standardization Program that Metrorail has developed to provide for the safety of Metrorail riders and personnel.” Additional tasks regarding specific certification deficiencies identified in the 2015 fatal smoke accident near L’Enfant Plaza Station were also not attempted or successfully completed.

WMSC said it communicated these deficiencies in 2023 and 2024 to metrorail, but that Metrorail “allowed personnel who were not properly certified to continue to operate trains.” The review shows that further action is required so Metrorail follows operator certification processes. 

WMSC CEO Dr. David Mayer said, “Metrorail is working on plans for long-term improvement. This order will help ensure that Metrorail implements the corrective actions required to continue to improve the safety of the system.”

The order below requires Metrorail to:

  1. Identify Metrorail employees that were designated as certified but who were not properly certified. This identification is required to occur within 30 days.
  2. Within 90 days, Metrorail must conduct proper certification of said employees.
  3. Develop corrective action plans to ensure proper certification is conducted consistently and in accordance with safety requirements.
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