WMATA returns eight 7000-series trains to service

June 16, 2022
The railcars will begin on the Green and Yellow Lines and will move to the Blue, Orange and Silver Lines once the new process required to inspect the trains has been smoothed out.

Riders on Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Green and Yellow Lines can expect to see a familiar site on the system Thursday: the return to service of eight 7000-series trains.

WMATA says its has been focused on training inspectors on the required safety processes to return the trains to service. This process includes daily back-to-back wheel measurements using a digital gauge and WMATA has conducted pre-operational test exercises with inspectors to ensure a smooth launch of the new process.

The 7000-series trains were originally pulled from service in October after a derailment on Oct. 12, 2021, revealed an issue with one of the wheelsets. The National Transportation Safety Board and MxV Rail experts (formerly Transportation Technology Center, Inc.) are investigating the October incident to determine a root cause.

Earlier this spring, WMATA installed the first of six automated wayside inspection system (AWIS) that will be incorporated in Phases 2 and 3 of its 7000-series return to service plan. Using the AWIS equipment as part of the inspection process requires approval from the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission and WMATA says it is “actively working” on the second and third phases of the plan with the AWIS equipment being configured and tested.

WMATA expects to use the returned 7000-series trains to increase service on its Blue, Orange and Silver lines once railcar personnel have created a steady rhythm of inspections and consistently delivered eight trains for daily service. WMATA previously stated it takes approximately three hours to inspect the wheels of an eight-car train.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.