Metro Union Leader Urges Safety Precautions
Jackie Jeter, head of the transit union that includes Metro train operators, called on the transit authority to "address our concerns about potential hazards of the Series 1000 trains. We are asking that those tried be bellied, or placed in the center .. not at the front or rear" of the trains. The 1000 Series cars made up the six-car train that crashed into the other Red Line train on Monday afternoon, killing nine.
Riders commenting on the blog today were asking Metro to do the same thing, out of concern for their safety.
Jeter also asked "that our operators be allowed to operate trains in manual mode, to assure that they can stop trains in sight of other vehicles or unsafe conditions, from now until all safety issues have been resolved." Since the crash, which occurred while trains were operating under the automatic control system, Metro has operated trains in manual -- meaning that the operator drives the train -- as a safety precaution.
Jeter also asked that the transit authority not mandate speed levels. Operators, she said, should be allowed to operate at speeds that they believe can assure safe travel.
"These demands are based on my belief that this accident should have never happened," she said. "We want to assure that an accident like this will never happen again.
She said that many operators have expressed concern about their safety. I asked her if the concern with the 1000 Series was with the structure of the rail car and its ability to endure a crash or with the equipment, such as the brakes and the automatic train controls. "Both," she said.
The last I heard from Metro, the trains were in manual control and speeds reduced. I've not heard of any change in that status but will check.
[5:45 p.m. Update: Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel just clarified this for me: The Red Line has a speed restriction of 35 mph. There is no other speed restriction that affects an entire line. There is a zone speed restriction between Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn, because of a track circuit issue. Restrictions in zones are not uncommon as a safety precaution.]
Jeter, a former train operator, spoke at 3 p.m. in front of the offices of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 in Forestville.
June 24, 2009; 3:34 PM ET
Categories: Metro , Safety , transit | Tags: Metrobus, Metrorail, Red Line crash
Save & Share: Previous: Commuter Alert Update: 1-95N Reopened
Next: Red Line Still Disrupted; Expect Delays
Posted by: eugene8 | June 24, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jonnydoe1234 | June 24, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: owl1 | June 24, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rtthomson1 | June 24, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: prokaryote | June 24, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: prokaryote | June 24, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kreeggo | June 24, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: prokaryote | June 25, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.