Budget Game

WMATA's Corrective Action Plans: Safety Targets Unmet

Numerous Metro system "corrective action plans" (CAPs) -- safety fixes recommended after audits, accidents and other incidents -- have languished for years in a system operated by Metro managers and independent monitors from the Tri-State Oversight Committee, including several stemming from a dangerous collision between trains at Woodley Park station in 2004. A sampling of some of the agency's unfinished work as of Dec. 19, 2009, is below, sorted by their Metro-assigned priority levels (Open-1 is most important).

Source Date Filed FindingsIdentified ActionWMATA CommentsTri-State Oversight Committee CommentsCAP Approved by TOC?Proposed Completion DateCAP Status and Priority
Wheel- Rail Interface Study 2006 Implement a new wheel profile with a 70-degree flange angle to replace the current wheel profile with a 63-degree flange angle. WMATA has requested and received a proposal from TTCI [Transportation Technology Center, Inc., a research and test center owned by the Federal Railroad Administration] to conduct a wheel profile performance test to validate the recommendation and to begin a pilot test implementation. WMATA received CAF's [Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, an equipment manufacturer] concurrence to change in profile and will be preparing an ETP to test modification on two 5000-series cars to do a comparative evaluation. After three months of satifactory operation WMATA will extend the test to additional cars before making a decision on an EMI for 5K fleet-wide implementation. ETP will start 11/30/2008.

2/06/09 -- In February 2009 a pair of 5000 Series railcars will be prepared for testing the new profile. After satisfactory operation WMATA will extend the test to additional cars. 5K fleet-wide implementation is scheduled for the beginning of FY 10.

7/27/09 -- An ETP has been prepared and approved to test the change of the flange angle of 5K cars from 63 degrees to 70 degrees. Calculations support this change to address slow-speed derailments. Currently, a shortage of 5K trucks with full wheel flanges are hindering the start of this test. It is expected that the test will be initiated out of WMATA's West Falls Church S&I [Service and Inspection Yard] within two weeks.
The new profile should reduce the tendency for derailment. Since it is similar to the current worn-wheel profile, it should also reduce wheel truing [maintenance that keeps wheels properly aligned]. This is the major step in preventing derailments.

2/13/08 -- TOC approves this CAP with the following changes. The new wheel profile needs to be implemented on the full railcar fleet. The test program is scheduled through 9/2008 followed by implementation. Thus the 12/2007 Estimated Completion Date needs to be changed. TOC will Close when completion is verified. Quarterly status reports are to be provided by WMATA.
Conditional Yes 12/31/08 Open-1
Triennial Audit 2007 The prints in our sample of interlocking locations [intersections in the tracks where trains switch from one track to another] were in the same tattered, ripped, and disorganized condition noted in the Tri-State Oversight Committee's 2004 triennial review. The Infrastructure Renewal Group (IRPG) is currently managing the reproduction of interlocking location prints utilizing the engineering services of P2D [a consortium of Metro contractors]. Expected completion in five years. 3/23/09 -- Due to funding limitations the expected date of completion will be extended to 10 years instead of the original completion of five years. 2/1/08 -- CAP is okay. Yes 6/1/18 Open-2
Triennial Audit 2007 The prints in our sample of traction power substations [which supply power to the electrified third rail, which powers the trains] were in the same tattered, ripped, and disorganized condition noted in TOC's triennial review. TSSM [Track and Structures/System Maintenance] and CENS [Chief Engineer, Systems] have agreed that the interim, appropriate measures will be taken to get the drawings in an acceptable state until replaced. These measures will include updating, page replacement, lamination and installing hardware and protective enclosure for proper storage. Status update: Due to the ongoing upgrades of the 66 traction power substations, CENS and TSSM have agreed to get the Traction Power drawings in an acceptable state by 7/1/11. 2/1/08 -- CAP is okay. Yes 7/1/11 Open-2
Accident Investigation, Woodley Park 2004 Operations coordinates with Safety and Risk Protection and the Office of Labor and Employee Relations to enter into discussions with the Unions, representing WMATA employees, to consider the establishment of "Hours of Service" for operating personnel. Will implement contract requirements of affording employee eight continuous hours off in a 24-hour period. 12/8/09 -- WMATA has presented to the union a proposal for ten hours uninterrupted rest. 9/12/07 -- The 5/21/07 submission postpones addressing the finding. Submit a date for completion.

12/20/07 -- Identified Action does not address union discussions/ negotiations.
No   Open-3
Accident Investigation, Woodley Park 2004 Operations and RAIL update and enhance the Fatigue Awareness module of all operators and maintenance initial and refresher training courses, including a discussion of "microsleep" and its signs and effects on human alertness. Update and enhance the Fatigue Awareness module of all operators and maintenance initial and refresher training courses including a discussion of "microsleep" and its signs and effects on human alertness. 9/27/07 -- WMATA will develop a bulletin on microsleep and include in fatigue awareness module. 9/21/07 -- The 5/21/07 submission does not satisfy the finding/recommendation which says, "update and enhance the Fatigue Awareness module." No 12/7/09 Open-3
Response to NTSB findings re: Woodley Park 2004 No rollback protection on 5000-series cars [there are 188 of these rail cars]. Installation of MTO rollback protection installed in 5000 series cars via change order process. 1/17/07 -- Board approval required, proposal being developed.

12/8/09--Expect completion 4/10.
9/14/07 -- The 9/11/07 submission puts completion in the future. Please set completion date. No 4/30/10 Open-3
Response to NTSB findings re: Woodley Park 2004 No rollback protection on 4000-series cars [there are 100 of these rail cars]. Installation of rollback protection in 4000 series cars during mid-life modernization/overhaul. 1/17/07 -- Board approval required, proposal being developed.

12/8/09--Expected completion 2016.
9/14/07 -- The 9/11/07 submission puts completion in the future. Please set completion date. No   Open-3
Response to NTSB findings re: Woodley Park 2004 No rollback protection on 1000-series cars [there are 288 of these rail cars]. Installation of roll back protection in 1000 series cars. 1/17/07 -- Currently working on developing and testing modifications to 1000 series cars.

12/8/09--To be complete 3/10.
9/14/07 -- The 9/11/07 submission puts completion in the future. Please set completion date.

2/13/07 -- TOC approved.
Yes 3/31/10 Open-3
Response to NTSB findings re: Woodley Park 2004 No external door release handle on all series of cars for emergency services to access stationary train without a key. Provide external door release handle on all series of cars for emergency services to access stationary train without a key.

10/2/07--Will install if determined to be feasible.
1/17/07 -- Prototype being developed.

10/2/07 -- WMATA plans to have a prototype design by the end of 2007. Testing is anticipated to begin in 2008 and 2009, pending availability of funds. WMATA plans to provide similar enhanced emergency egress on the 7000 series railcars and will incorporate the requirements into its design standard.

7/27/09 -- Joe Krempasky [Senior Vehicle Engineer] to provide letter on external door handle on rail cars.

12/8/09 -- Implementation on 2000-, 3000-, 6000-series cars expected complete 07/2011. Others later.
9/12/07 -- The 5/21/07 submission postpones addressing the finding. Submit a date for completion. Yes 2007 Open-3
Response to NTSB findings re: Woodley Park 2004 Either accelerate retirement of Rohr-built railcars [1000-series cars, the system's oldest], or if those railcars are not retired but instead rehabilitated, then the Rohr-built passenger railcars should incorporate a retrofit of crashworthiness collision protection that is comparable to the 6000-series railcars. No corrective action.

12/8/09 -- The Authority will conduct an evaluation of 1000-series railcar crashworthiness including engineering analysis and testing to confirm the analysis.
10/2/07 -- WMATA does not plan to do a heavy overhaul on the 1000 series. The 1000 series railcars will be replaced with the 7000 series railcars which design has already started. Constraints of a tax advantage lease on the 1000 Series cars requires WMATA to keep them in service until at least the end of 2014.

11/21/08 -- WMATA requests CAP be closed by TOC. WMATA does not accept the finding, therefore no action is required. Documentation will be submitted for closure 11/24/08.

07/20/09 -- WMATA submitted copy of Booz Allen Hamilton report "WMATA Rail Vehicle Underframe Strengthening Retrofit Feasibility Study" to TOC. WMATA recommends CAP closure.
2/13/08 -- WMATA should send TOC a letter stating that a request had gone to NTSB related to the 1000 series railcar for which no response was provided.

11/24/08 -- Need analysis of such options as running 1000-series cars in the middle of trains.
No 3/31/10 Open-3
Source: Tri-State Oversight Committee
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