WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced a new return to service plan for the 7000 series rail cars on Thursday, March 24. With this plan, the trains will be back in service by the summer of 2022.
In addition to bringing the 7000 series back to service, WMATA is planning to increase Green and Yellow line service to 15-minute intervals. In order to bring back the 7000 series rail cars, the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission needs to approve the new safety plan.
WMATA’s proposed plan outlines three initiatives in order to improve customer service and bring the cars back to service. The first initiative involves the 6000 series rail cars. To date, 70 of those rail cars have been added to the fleet, and 50 more cars will be returned by May.
There is a revised manual inspection protocol in the safety plan that will use digital equipment to perform measurements. This inspection process will be used prior to the cars returning to service.
Finally, WMATA plans to add an Automatic Wayside Inspection System this spring that will measure and report real-time, ongoing wheel measurements.
General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said this system will help WMATA stay on top of any safety issues that arise. The letter to WMSC noted, “The implementation of the AWIS systems are critical to the safe return of 7000 series trains to service, which also permits better headways.”