Sledding on Metrorail

Say you in the Blue/Orange Line Metrorail tunnel under the Potomac and the lights go out on the rail car as it stops. Not a sound you can hear, not a sight you can see. Just as people start to freak, cell phones showing panic, you see a light and hear an authoritative voice.

A stock MEC-4

It’s WMATA to the rescue on a MEC-4!

Or so is the scenario that the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) is prepping for with the purchase of a 4 Man Motorised Electric Rail Cart.

Dropping $20K of Homeland Security money on the electric cart, MTPD will use it get to an emergency on Metrorial and safely transport people who are unable to walk out of the area.

Interestingly, WMATA got a deal on the cart – it’s usually $40K, if they would sell show it to other Transit Authorities. Or maybe that’s not such a deal. A WTOP commenter says:

Sounds great until you find out these type of vehicles aren’t allowed on the rail system. Why? They can’t be seen by Central Control and therefore pose a risk to everyone’s safety. Think I’m wrong? Ask how much money has been spent on Rerail vehicles and how many times they’ve been allowed to fulfill their true potential.

What do you think? Rather be on the MEC-4 sled or walking the tracks back to Foggy Bottom?

3 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on October 30th, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

    Rather be on a MEC-4. Would rather also have Central Control know where the heck they are.

  2. Brock (unregistered) on October 31st, 2006 @ 11:17 am

    Am I the only one wondering how fast these things can go? I think it would be fun to careen around town on one of them.

  3. Tiff (unregistered) on October 31st, 2006 @ 12:18 pm

    You know, when I was a kid and worried about whether my bike could be seen, I put a damn flag on it. Surely there must be some kind of device that would solve this problem for Central Control.

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