New Metro Cars Cause Derailments?

With yesterday’s Green line train derailment fresh in the minds of all transit riders in DC, the Post’s Get There blog may have brought into the public eye again the potential cause for these derailments: the new Series 5000 cars that Metro started using in 2004:

The cars has [sic] troubles all through the construction process, plus there were many mechanical and electronic problems once they entered service. They were involved in four derailments in less than 18 months. There was a debate within Metro over whether the design of the cars was a contributing factor, but they remained in service.

Those derailments followed a pattern: They occurred in places where the track was worn, while the train was operating at low speed and rounding a sharp bend. These were not tracks used in regular passenger service.

The Sunday derailment occurred while the train was making a low-speed crossover from one track to another, Metro said. Potentially interesting parallels there.

If the Series 5000 cars are the commonality in these derailments, it strikes me that WMATA ought to be demanding some attention from CAF engineers, as well as a potential fix for the derailment issues.

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