Metro 7000-series railcars in D.C. in 2016. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

The Jan. 22 Metro article “Metro approved for less-frequent rail-car inspections” mentioned the wheel-spreading conditions that sidelined the 7000-series Metro cars.

Why weren’t the 7000-series cars tested at the Federal Railroad Administration’s purpose-built test facility, the Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colo., before acceptance?

I worked at the facility from 1973 to 1976, and Metro’s 1000-series cars were instrumented and running around loops to identify problem areas. For whatever reason, this step was apparently not taken with the 7000 series, so opportunities to detect and correct problems were missed. It’s very possible the safety and performance conditions that continue to disrupt Metro service could have been detected at that very early point, before the equipment was accepted by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

In addition to the question of why the 7000 series was not properly tested, the question about testing the next series of Metro cars at the Federal Railroad Administration facility needs to be answered. If they are not to be tested, why not?

Richard A. Garrison, Arlington