The Washington Metro Area Transit Authority says Metrorail will be able to run more 7000-series trains and lower wait times after winning an appeal to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, the transit agency announced on Twitter Friday.
On Monday, WMATA appealed a WMSC guideline requiring the wheels of 7000-series railcars to be inspected every four days. With the appeal being granted, the wheels of these newer model trains will now be inspected once a week instead.
Moving to the seven-day inspection schedule advances the WMATA return-to-service plan to step three, establishing new parameters that Metrorail will operate under for 60 days.
As written in the Oct. 25, 2022 service plan, step three removes limits on the number of trains in service, removes the limits on the number of certain types of cars allowed to run at any one time, and allows all types of Metro railcar to operate on all Metro lines.
The 7000-series cars had originally been removed from Metrorail circulation after an Oct. 12, 2021 derailment on the Blue Line near Arlington Cemetery, requiring the evacuation of nearly 200 passengers.
The subsequent investigation by safety officials found that the fourth axle of one of the derailed train’s cars was not up to specifications for the 7000-series, and further found replication of the defect in other 7000-series cars in the Metrorail fleet.