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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 01:07 PM ET, 12/27/2011

Metro still investigating why part of brake assembly fell off train

Metro has completed a visual inspection of the brake assemblies on its
The "friction ring" that fell from a rail car on Dec. 20. (Courtesy of WMATA)
5000 series rail cars following an incident earlier this month where a part fell off a train, damaged two other trains and shut down a portion of the Blue and Orange lines for hours, according to chief spokesman Dan Stessel.

The inspections did not reveal any problems, Stessel said, and the transit authority continues to search for “the root cause” of the incident that happened during the morning commute on Dec. 20.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles had ordered a review of the system’s 190 5000 series rail cars, about 18 percent of the fleet. Sixteen cars were pulled from service after a preliminary examination found that they had wheel hubs similar to the train that lost a “friction ring,” described as being similar to a brake disc on a vehicle.

The 5000 series has had a troubled history. The rail cars, made by CAF Inc. of Spain, have had electrical, software and wheel problems since being delivered to Metro between 1998 and 2003.

Sarles said in a press conference after the accident, which required the evacuation of hundreds of riders from Metro trains, that the investigation would involve examining “materials, running metallurgy tests, examining maintenance records, design of the brake assembly and wayside conditions.”.

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By  |  01:07 PM ET, 12/27/2011

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