FAIL: DC Metrorail

Ahh, the DC Metro system, run by the WMATA, has been under a magnifying glass since the WMATA Red Line crash on June 22nd. The Washington Post has extensive information about the track circuits and how that may have been the primary reason why the crash occurred between Takoma and Fort Totten stations. 9 riders were killed, and 80 were injured at around 5 that Monday afternoon.

It appears the emergency response was handled properly, and most of the heat is being put on the WMATA for the track failure and use of the 1000-Series Rohr cars on the ends of trains.

To help you identify which Series car you are on, see the differences. Personally I’m a fan of the Breda 3283 Series which has seats against the walls and not protruding from them, but that can be an entry on its own.

My breakdown:
red and blue seats + metal handlebars = 2000 series (Ok!)
orange and yellow seats + metal handlebars = 1000 series (****)
orange and yellow seats + textured foamy handlebars = 3000 series (Ok!)

Series 1000 car. Sept 11th

This was a Series 1000 car at the end of the orange line train headed out to Vienna. Great.

and metro is considering a fare increase for compromised safety – more nails to drive into the FAIL coffin.

For a listing of metrorail disruptions: Click Here

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  1. Posted June 25, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    I believe your railcar descriptions are off a little bit. Your description of the 1000-Series is fairly spot-on, but the others aren’t quite there. Basically:

    2000 and 3000-Series: Red and blue seats, metal handrails (the 2000 and 3000-Series used to be as you described the 3000-Series, but they have since all been rehabbed)

    4000-Series: Orange seats, “textured foamy handlebars”. I also question the crashworthiness of these cars, since they were manufactured before Metro’s first head-on collision. The 3000-Series prior to rehab also telescoped, and I’m guessing that the 4000-Series has the same defect. These cars will be rehabbed around 2014 or so.

    5000-Series: Very similar to 2000/3000-Series, with red and blue seats and metal handrails

    6000-Series: Red/blue seats, but these cars have a double handrail along the ceiling, and metal grab handles along the ceiling. These cars are also being described by the NTSB as the standard for WMATA crashworthiness.

    Lastly, regarding Breda 3283: That car was a one-off design, as Metro reconfigured that railcar to test a few different seating and handrail concepts. 3283 has since been rehabilitated, and is once again in the standard configuration for a 3000-Series railcar.

  2. Posted June 25, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    wow, thanks for the great description! way better than my observations!

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