Metro News Release

For immediate release: September 20, 2006

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Metro Unveils the Transit Industry’s First Elevator/Escalator Training Facility

Metro’s elevator and escalator mechanics can now take advantage of a state-of-the-art facility that will assist them in responding to elevator entrapments and repairing nearly 900 units systemwide.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) today unveiled the transit industry’s first elevator and escalator training lab in Landover, Md. The new elevator and escalator training lab, which opened earlier this summer, was built as a learning tool for students in Metro’s Escalator and Elevator Apprenticeship Program and a continued training center for Metro’s escalator and elevator mechanics. Eventually, the facility will be available to fire, police, and emergency response departments from local jurisdictions to use for mock rescue exercises, and training practices involving Metro’s 588 escalators and 267 elevators.

The elevator and escalator training lab features two different types of elevators in the Metrorail system – a hydraulic elevator and a traction elevator, and an escalator unit with transparent panels.

“The elevator and escalator training lab is a hands-on, realistic training mechanism for students in Metro’s Elevator/Escalator Apprenticeship Program,” said Dan Tangherlini, Metro’s Interim General Manager. “It also serves as a continuing training tool for those currently employed in the Elevator and Escalator Department.”

The Elevator/Escalator Apprenticeship Program began its first class more than five years ago under the umbrella of Metro’s larger operations training apprenticeship programs. There are currently 43 individuals in the apprenticeship program with a new group of approximately 20 students to begin later this month. The program recruits on a yearly basis and runs an average of four years.

“With the realistic nature of this equipment, the facility can also be adapted to use as a training mechanism for emergency escalator or elevator incidents for the region’s first responders,” said Mr. Tangherlini. “The combination of the emergency training tunnel, the emergency evacuation simulator, and the escalator and elevator training facility makes Metro’s training center one of the premiere preparedness center’s in the country,” he said.

Metro’s Escalator and Elevator Department is responsible for the service and maintenance of all vertical transportation equipment in the Authority. The department constructed the new facility, at a cost of $1.5 million.

News release issued on September 20, 2006.

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