For immediate release: May 19, 2022

Metro on schedule to restore 7000-series railcars in late summer

This week, Metro installed the first automated inspection system to test wheelsets of the 7000-series railcars in real-time. The schedule to restore the fleet to passenger service later this summer remains on time. 

With the first installation now complete, engineers will begin configuration, testing, and commissioning of the system. 

Last month, Metro started the process to review with the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission the key components of its return to service plan. The plan includes new inspection procedures and trainings to guide Metro staff to safely inspect and maintain the 7000-series railcars when they return to service later this summer. 

Metro has initiatives underway to return the cars back to passenger service, including the introduction of new technology to digitally inspect wheels, as well as an ongoing root cause analysis of last year’s derailment. 

The investigation is being led by the National Transportation Safety Board. The analysis has not yet pinpointed a derailment cause, but experts at MxV Rail (formerly known as TTCI) are working as part of the investigation, conducting spin tests and ultrasonic tests that look at vibration and wheel performance at various speeds and conditions to determine what combination of issues have to be addressed. 

To date, the investigation has found no evidence of failures related to maintenance or manufacturing of the equipment. 

Photos: Concrete pad, adjacent to track which will hold equipment and data racks; Installation of AWIS system at College Park

AWIS concrete pad College Park
AWIS installation College Park