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Today's read: Running on relics

We are so 20th century: The coincidence of last week's twin mini-disasters for commuters on Metro and on the streets of Montgomery County might foreshadow scores of problems as cash-strapped governments stagger into the 21st century burdened by creaking 20th-century technology. (Ashley Halsey III)

Records show Metro barred safety checks: Monitors from the Tri-State Oversight Committee wanted to determine whether Metro was following rules put in place in recent years after a number of workers had been fatally injured on the job. (Joe Stephens and Lena H. Sun)

By Robert Thomson  |  November 9, 2009; 8:10 AM ET
Categories:  Commuting , Driving , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Today's Read  
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I had a loud ride on a railcar the other week. As is my habit, I looked at the end door to see what series of car I was riding. It did not surprise me that I was on a 1000 series car. I was amused that I was in car number 1001, which is still rolling along the Red Line in 2009. They don't get older than that. I think if WMATA would replace the wheels on that car, it would have a few more decades of use left in it.

I think the bigger problems are Metrorail's control systems (and that was before the deadly crash on the red line) and its failure to deal with dwell times in the stations. The doorways are too small (or too few) to get people off and on the trains quickly enough. Something needs to be done on both fronts to keep Metrorail from falling further behind in meeting the needs of commuters in the future.

Posted by: KS100H | November 9, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

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