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FTA to Metro: More Work Needed on Rail System

Although Metro workers corrected cracked wood on tracks along the Green Line, some deficiencies on other lines must be redone, according to monthly inspection reports from May the Federal Transit Administration released Friday.

For instance, along the Red Line between Friendship Heights in northwest D.C. and Bethesda in Montgomery County, Metro workers must remove water and mud from conduits and rail post insulators.

Metro continues work between those stations with a final shutdown Saturday and Sunday. The work focuses on a 2,000-foot stretch between Medical Center and Bethesda and the interlocking area near Medical Center.

Also on the Red Line, two train operators headed into the Rockville station in Montgomery County failed to sound their horns to alert the train’s arrival.

The report highlights one of the operators “admitted that he did not attend the class and was unfamiliar with the permanent order.”

Concrete pads that support the rails must be replaced on the Red Line near Rhode Island Avenue in northwest D.C., according to the report.

Inspectors also noted in the document water and lighting problems occurred along a portion of the Red Line near stations in Montgomery County that included a leaky roof at Forest Glen. Inspectors also found several emergency power cutoff boxes broken.

Several reports focused on Metro’s SafeTrack maintenance project that was underway this year.

Although an inspector found a piece of wood cracked after a bolt was installed on the track during the project’s 14th phase near the Greenbelt Metro station in Prince George’s County, the area didn’t need another inspection because the work was completed. Greenbelt and College Park stations closed from April 14-29 with a second phase that ended May 14 between those stations.

Meanwhile, a SafeTrack report noted no recorded injuries and accidents occurred in April during the work.

However, the FTA noted Metro spent nearly $500,000 daily on SafeTrack related work. The estimated total cost for more than yearlong project: $160 million.

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