The NTSB observed the inspection and disassembly of wheelset #4 from railcar 7200, which caused the 2021 Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority derailment in Virginia. “In accordance with wheelset design, each wheel should have been flush against its bearing when mounted,” NTSB wrote in its January 2023 derailment investigation report. “Before disassembly, the inspection identified gaps between both wheels and their respective bearings: about 0.63 inches for the right-side wheel and about 1.10 inches for the left-side wheel [see above] … The back-to-back measurement was about 55.375 inches, or about 2 inches wider than the maximum design specification.” (NTSB Image)

NTSB Releases WMATA 2021 Derailment Report

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Jan. 4 issued its final report on the October 2021 Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) train derailment in Arlington, Va., attributing the cause to a wheelset irregularity. Chair Jennifer Homendy was critical of both the transit agency’s “safety culture” and the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) oversight.

SRPRA has selected AECOM to develop a plan to restore intercity passenger rail service from Reading to Philadelphia, Pa. (SRPRA Rendering)

Transit Briefs: SRPRA, SCVTA, WMATA

Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority (SRPRA) in Pennsylvania selects a consultant to prepare a Reading-Philadelphia service development plan. Also, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (SCVTA) closes on a $23.8-million land purchase near Diridon Station in San Jose, Calif.; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) eliminates the $2 SmarTrip fare payment card fee for seniors.

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WMATA Reinstates Auto Doors on Red Line

Following weeks of certifying operators to use Automatic Door Operation on some Red Line trains, the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) has given concurrence to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to allow the agency to fully operate in Auto Door mode on the Red Line, beginning Dec. 5.

WMATA Addressing ‘Pressing’ Problem

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has begun a wheelset retrofit program on its problematic 748-unit Kawasaki Rail USA 7000-series railcar fleet to return them to service and resume a “normal”

Mortimer L. Downey III (Photo Courtesy of the National Academy of Public Administration)

Report: Mass Transit Leader Downey Dies at 87

Mortimer L. Downey III, a nationally recognized leader in urban mass transit died on Nov. 2 at the age of 87, according to a report by The Washington Post. Downey spent six

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Transit Briefs: WMATA, Brightline, NYMTA, CTA, NCTD, NFTA, PANYNJ

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) “flips the switch” on Solar Carport Project at Anacostia, marking completion at the first two stations. Also, Brightline partners with Distribusion Technologies; the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announces that the first OMNY card vending machines are available for customers; Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) ridership breaks post-pandemic record; the North County Transit District (NCTD) is awarded a Clean California Local Grant to beautify the Oceanside Transit Center Pedestrian Tunnel; the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) announces the activation of Metro rail gates; and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) sets a new September passenger record.

MARTA has received $1.75 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to stand up a transit and TOD “accelerator” that it says will “close capital funding gaps for projects across the region.”

Transit Briefs: MARTA, SunRail, TTC, WMATA

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) secures $1.75 million to form a regional transit and transit-oriented development (TOD) accelerator. Also, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) provides new details on SunRail’s proposed extension; Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) restores streetcar service to Humber Loop; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) opens a new Integrated Command and Communications Center.

FTA Seeks Input on Hours of Service, Fatigue Risk Management Programs

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is considering minimum safety standards to provide protections for transit workers to obtain rest “thereby reducing the risk of fatigue-related safety injuries.”

CTA has released a $1.99 billion operating budget proposal for 2024 that reflects a 9.2% (or $168.2 million) increase over the previous year.

Transit Briefs: CTA, LIRR, Metrolink, Metrolinx, WMATA

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) proposes a $1.99 billion operating budget for 2024. Also, Rob Free takes over as acting President of MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR); Southern California’s Metrolink conducts an on-board drill using earthquake safety technology; WSP in Canada wins a contract for Metrolinx’s Hamilton Light Rail Transit project in Ontario; the Ontario government plans transit-oriented development near six future stations of Metrolinx’s Ontario Line subway and Scarborough Subway extension projects in Toronto; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) extends Parsons’ task-order contract.

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Transit Briefs: Amtrak, AECOM, WMATA

Amtrak introduces a simplified fare structure. Also, AECOM is appointed by Metrolinx to serve as technical advisor for the Hamilton Light Rail Transit (LRT) project; and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) prepares for its Auto Doors function.

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