WMSC

VIA Rail is adding “buffer cars at the front and back end of all trains with [older] stainless steel equipment to reduce the consequences in the unlikely event of a train-to-train collision,” Canada’s government-owned passenger railroad told The Globe and Mail. This safety measure will remain until older cars can be reinforced and new Siemens trainsets (pictured) enter service. (Photograph Courtesy of VIA Rail Canada)

Transit Briefs: TTC, VIA Rail, WMATA, BART/MTC

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) selects AECOM as owner’s engineer for the Bloor-Yonge Station Capacity Improvements project. Also, VIA Rail Canada is adding “buffer” cars to some trains to improve safety; Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA/Metro) reports that next month the Silver Line extension will be operationally ready to open, but it’s unclear if more 7000-series railcars will be approved for release to support it; and San Francisco Bay Rapid Transit District (BART) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) report a plastic Clipper® fare-card shortage.

WMATA Communications Systems Audit Report Released

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Metrorail rapid transit system has safety gaps related to communications system training, supervisory oversight, safety promotion, maintenance, documentation, hazard identification, and procedural compliance, according to a 2022 Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) audit report released Sept. 29. As a result, WMSC has issued nine findings requiring WMATA to develop corrective action plans, plus two recommendations that the transit agency must address.

Paul J. Wiedefeld on May 16 retired from his role as General Manager and CEO of WMATA. His original retirement date was June 30, 2022.

WMATA: GM/CEO Wiedefeld, COO Leader Out (UPDATED)

Just one day after Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced that it was removing from service 72 rail operators due to a lapse in recertification, General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld decided to step down—weeks ahead of his expected retirement date—and Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader resigned, the transit agency reported late May 16.

“Lapse in Metrorail [WMATA] operator recertification results in changes to certain trains effective Monday [May 16]. Green and Yellow line rail service moves to every 20 minutes beginning Monday,” WMATA reported via Twitter on May 15. (Photograph Courtesy of WMATA, Via Twitter)

WMATA Removes 72 Rail Operators

Nearly half of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) 500 rail operators have lapsed recertification, WMATA reported May 15, prompting the agency to remove from service 72, who became out of compliance more than a year ago.

More Emergency Management Work Ahead for WMATA, Audit Finds

The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) on Feb. 22 released an audit report of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) emergency management and fire and life safety programs that it said demonstrates “some improvements since the 2015 smoke accident near L’Enfant Plaza Station*, including markedly improved training and system familiarization for local first responders”; however, more work is required.

WMATA 7000-Series Rapid Transit Cars: Courtesy Wikipedia

WMATA Eyes Trackside Wheel Inspection Tech

The Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (WMATA) 7000-series rapid transit cars will be out of service for another 90 days, the agency reported on Jan. 13; it said it is acquiring technology to measure the cars’ wheelsets, which have been under inspection since an Oct. 12, 2021 Blue Line train derailment.

WMATA 7000-Series Cars Sidelined, Again

The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission on Dec. 29 ordered Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) to pull from service its 7000-series rapid transit cars; it is the second time in as many months the order has been made.

WMATA 7000-Series Rapid Transit Cars: Courtesy Wikipedia

WMATA 7000-Series Cars to Resume Service

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) 7000-series rapid transit cars will start returning to service this month under a “metered release” plan, the agency reported on Dec. 14.