Metro board to discuss $2.5 billion budget

Metro’s board of directors is expected to take up a range of issues Thursday from the transit agency’s nearly $3 billion operating and capital budget to the question of how brake parts fell off or cracked on rail cars.

The board has already approved fare hikes on buses, trains and at parking facilities.

Metro managers said earlier this week that “mechanical fatigue” on the friction rings of two older rail cars caused one to crack and another to fall off in two separate incidents. The rings are similar to a brake disc found on a car, and if a ring fails, it is considered a hazard.

The findings will be presented to the board Thursday.

Crews discovered a fractured brake part on a 3000 series rail car in January during an inspection at the Shady Grove rail yard, according to documents prepared for Thursday’s meeting. The train was not in service at the time, Metro chief spokesman Dan Stessel said.

On Jan. 6, a similar part fell off a 2000 rail car series train on an Orange Line train that was headed toward New Carrollton. The train was disabled near the Stadium-Armory station, and there were delays for more than two hours. No one was injured, and passengers were transferred to other trains.

Follow my live tweets here once the meeting starts:

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.

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