Metro officials said they have outfitted their oldest rail cars with Kevlar sleeves to protect against problems with train equipment after a May incident that involved a series of explosions and fire on a Red Line train at the Silver Spring station.
On Thursday, Rob Troup, Metro’s head of rail operations, briefed the board’s safety and security committee on the incident. He said a part that held a hydraulic hose broke off, causing the hose to fall onto a power cable and creating fire and flash explosions.
He compared it to “crossing a wire in an electrical outlet.”
Troup said crews have inspected all of Metro’s 1000 series rail cars, which are the oldest in the fleet and have routinely been problematic and were involved in the deadly 2009 Red Line crash. Problems were found with “less than a dozen,” he said.
Metro has plans to get rid of all of its 1000 series rail cars once new ones — part of the 7000 series — arrive. Troup said Metro’s other rail cars do not have the same style of brakes as the 1000 series rail cars that contributed to the problem in the Silver Spring incident.
Metro officials said they are also working on improving their communications with customers in incidents like these, in which there was confusion among passengers as to where to catch shuttle buses. They also said they plan to work on deploying Metro personnel to trouble spots faster in similar situations, deal with local police jurisdictions faster and better, and will have its transit police force set up command centers on site.