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Metro to finish fixing car doors

The transit authority plans to spend as much as $794,000 to finish fixing the problem that caused the rail car doors to open on the wrong side of the platforms. Because of the problem, the rail car doors are now opened by the train operators rather than by the automatic system.

This is a separate safety issue from the concerns about controls for train movements, the issue that arose in connection with the June 22 Red Line crash.

Metro said that three times in 2008, the doors opened on the wrong side of trains stopped at stations. As a result of these incidents, Metro went to manual door operation as a safety measure until a permanent solution was found.

Metro asked Alstom to find the solution. The rail car manufacturer determined that the root cause of the failures was an increase in electromagnetic interference from power substations as a result Metro's power upgrades over the past few years. (These are the power upgrades designed to run 50 percent eight-car trains at rush periods -- which we don't have.)

All rail cars using Alstom equipment, whether built by Alstom or modified by Alstom, need this fix. It is being installed on the 1000, 2000 and 3000 Series cars. Wrong-side door solutions are being tested for the 5000 Series cars. The repairs to the 6000 Series probably will start in January and will take 120 days to complete.

Related stories:
Operator on leave after opening doors on wrong side
Metro opens doors -- too soon

By Robert Thomson  |  May 27, 2010; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Metro , Safety , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail  
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