Metro Board Briefs its Safety and Security Committe About Green Lince Incidents

7:40 PM, Jul 12, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Metro Board Members brief its Safety and Security Committee about two incidents last week on the green line that put into question Metro's safety standards. 

Metro admits they can do better in responding to extreme heat whether  its watching out for damaged tracks or power outages.

Last Friday afternoon, July 6th train #507 derailed because the green line tracks had been damaged by the heat.  A defined bend in the tracks called a 'heat kink' caused the train to jump the tracks near the West Hyattsville station.

The Prince George's County Fire Department helped evacuate roughly 60 passengers. The tracks had been inspected July 5th, the day before the incident.  Heat rides and walking inspections were conducted. But they weren't enough.

The incident was one of two heat related problems on Metro last week and the focus of Thursday's board meeting.

The plan now is to change its policy to prevent this from happening again.

General Manager Richard Sarles says in extreme heat speeds need to be reduced. "Instead of doing 50-55 mph they may do 40 to 35 what that will mean in periods of heat will be a longer trip for people riding a segment of rail road."

Three days before the derailment also on the green line,  a train stopped short of the College Park Station. Riders spent more than 30 minutes in the hot train in the blistering heat before folks took matters in to their own hands and self-evacuated.

General Manager Richard Sarles says they're going to make a change in policy on that too, so riders aren't left in the dark.

He says if they don't know if there's a power outage and the control center can't communicate with the train they are going to assume the power is out and with in five minutes call the police department and the fire department.

Debra Boykin is a daily green line rider and says she was a car ahead of the derailment last Friday, "That's been said before. They say they're going to communicate to us. It doesn't happen."

Sarles says they are still working out all the details on new policy changes to prevent heat related derailments and they should be announced in the next several days.

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