Dozens of problems found in D.C. Metrorail inspection, service resumes

By Amy R. Connolly  |  March 17, 2016 at 6:03 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 17 (UPI) -- The Metrorail reopened early Thursday after a 29-hour safety inspection found some dozens of spots where electrical cables were damaged or frayed that could have caused sporadic shutdowns of the train system.

About 4:45 a.m. Metrorail began service on all lines. but inspections were expected to continue, Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said. Inspectors found 26 damaged jumper cables and connector reboots in the underground portion of the Metrorail system.

"Throughout this intense inspection deployment, our focus has been on effectively mitigating fire risks," Wiedefeld said.

Wiedefeld said three of the newly detected problems -- near the McPherson Square, Foggy Bottom and Potomac Avenue stations -- could have been "show stoppers" that may have caused disruptions of service. They would not have necessarily caused fires but they needed to be immediately repaired.

The emergency inspection of the some 600 electrical cable lines began shortly after midnight Tuesday after a fire Monday led to a partial service shutdown. In January 2015, one person died and dozens were sickened after a fire in a tunnel near the L'Enfant Plaza station.

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