Mon, February 25, 2019 Service Events

7:45A Greenbelt inbound crossover goes out of service requiring the Greenbelt terminal supervisor to manually clamp and lock switches into position.

8:00A Greenbelt 516 reversed at College Park

8:12A Greenbelt 508 reversed at College Park

8:16A Franconia 417 unable to get all doors closed at Farragut West (4min)

8:32A Greenbelt 517 reversed at College Park

8:44A Greenbelt crossover placed back in service

9:29A Medical Emergency on Silver Spring 256 at Brookland

9:32A 256 requests EMS

9:35A Glenmont 157 reversed to Rhode Island Av towards Shady Grove

9:36A 256 instructed to offload

9:40A Single Tracking initiated via Track 2 (Shady Grove Track) at Brookland and Ft. Totten

9:43A EMS on-site

9:49A Glenmont 159 instructed to offload and reverse at NoMa

9:51A EMS transported passenger – 256 reentering service as 156

9:55A Shady Grove 154 unable to get all doors closed at Farragut North

9:56A Silver Spring 259 reversed at NoMa

About Us: Rail Transit OPS Group provides independent evaluations of rail transit operations, performance, and safety processes as part of its dual mission: monitor and evaluate rail transit operators’ adherence to these processes, and provide additional information during service disruptions.

Rail Transit OPS Group business operations are solely funded by individual contributions from the public. To make a contribution visit our Support Page You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @RailTransitOPS.

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Summary on Decrease in Reports of Fire Extinguisher Discharges Aboard WMATA Rail Cars

In Spring of 2018, we began reporting when individuals would discharge fire extinguishers aboard rail cars, which would subsequently require the car to be isolated or removed from service, and cleaned as a result of the dry chemical dust that is produced during discharge. These events typically occurred on the Red Line in the afternoon on weekdays between Tenlytown-AU and Metro Center.

Over the past 4 months we’ve noticed a decrease in reports of extinguishers being discharged and began to investigate.

We’ve determined that WMATA has begun to remove the passenger accessible fire extinguisher from rail cars. Below are three photos, the first showing a fire extinguisher installed on a 7K series car, the second shows the extinguisher and associated signage removed, and the third shows the location of a removed extinguisher on a legacy 3K series rail car.

There is concern for the ability of passengers being able to respond to a fire incident in the event that both the train is disabled and operator incapacitated.

Fire Extinguisher installed under the seat for passenger access

Fire Extinguisher location showing the extinguisher removed

Fire Extinguisher location showing the extinguisher removed on a legacy car

About Us: Rail Transit OPS Group provides independent evaluations of rail transit operations, performance, and safety processes as part of its dual mission: monitor and evaluate rail transit operators’ adherence to these processes, and provide additional information during service disruptions.

Rail Transit OPS Group business operations are solely funded by individual contributions from the public. To make a contribution visit our Support Page You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @RailTransitOPS.

Roadway Worker Protection Violation on October 4, 2018

At 11:45AM EDT Glenmont bound Train 155-3204 approached track department personnel between White Flint & Grosvenor stations on Track 1, the inbound track without sounding its horn periodically and at normal operating speeds instead of the required reduced speed. Train 155 did slow and pass the personnel at approximately 10-15MPH after visually acquiring the track personnel.

AMF (Advance Mobile Flagger) was present at White Flint, however at the time Train 155 serviced the platform, the AMF was fully engaged in a conversation with a Rail Pro contractor and failed to notify the operator of Train 155 of the presence of track personnel.

Also Train 155 failed to sound its mainline horn upon sighting the AMF at White Flint.

At 11:55AM Train 155 followed correct procedures departing Bethesda following contact with the AMF at Bethesda.

About Us: Rail Transit OPS Group provides independent evaluations of rail transit operations, performance, and safety processes as part of its dual mission: monitor and evaluate rail transit operators’ adherence to these processes, and provide additional information during service disruptions.

Rail Transit OPS Group business operations are solely funded by individual contributions from the public. To make a contribution visit our Support Page You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @RailTransitOPS.

Event Summary on September 6, 2018 WMATA Roadway Worker Procedure Violation

On Thursday, September 6, 2018 at about 11:02 AM EDT, Shady Grove-bound Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Train 102 reported to the Rail Operations Control Center (ROCC) the presence of personnel on the tracks between the Grosvenor and White Flint stations on the outbound track (Track A2) without the required presence of an Advanced Mobile Flagger (AMF) at the departure end of Grosvenor. The track inspection was suspended by the ROCC and the personnel were picked up and transported back to the White Flint platform by Train 102.

At 10:46 AM, a track inspection team of two including one contractor requested permission to walk the tracks from White Flint to Grosvenor via the outbound track known as Track 2. During the request, the Roadway Worker In Charge (RWIC) said that the AMF was in place at Grosvenor. (AMF duties include notifying train operators that personnel are on the tracks ahead and to instruct them to sound their horn and reduce their train’s speed until visually acquiring the personnel, at which time they are to be governed by the Roadway Worker In Charge, or RWIC.) Following the confirmation between the RWIC and the ROCC, permission was granted for the track walk to commence at 10:47 AM.

At 11:01 AM, Train 102 departed Grosvenor en route to White Flint, at which time the operator of Train 102 reported that there were track personnel on the tracks ahead, and that there was no AMF in place at Grosvenor to provide a warning. Train 102 was instructed to pick up the track crew and transport them back to White Flint where the RWIC was instructed to contact the ROCC. The track inspection was then cancelled as of 11:10 AM.

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Rail Transit OPS Group provides independent evaluations of rail transit operations, performance, and safety processes as part of its dual mission: monitor and evaluate rail transit operators’ adherence to these processes, and provide additional information during service disruptions.

Rail Transit OPS Group business operations are solely funded by individual contributions from the public. To make a contribution visit our Support Page You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @RailTransitOPS.

Event Summary of WMATA Roadway Worker Incident on August 25, 2018

On Saturday, August 25, 2018 at about 1:28 PM EDT, a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Power Department (POWR) employee miscommunicated their location while accessing the traction power tiebreaker station on the Red Line that’s approximately 1,600 feet south of Rockville station. As a result, Train 110 (T-110), operating on the same track the employees were traveling on, came within approximately 500 feet of personnel. There were no injuries as the operator of T-110 quickly and efficiently stopped their train.

At 1:15 PM, a WMATA POWR employee requested track access to get to a power substation from an access gate in a parking lot using Foul Time, a protocol in which all train traffic on the requested track between two specified signals should stop. The POWR employee requested Foul Time for Track 2, which at this location is the outbound track, adjacent and tangent to the CSX right of way; the private parking lot is adjacent to Track 1 (see Figure 1). Foul Time was granted by the Rail Operations Control Center (ROCC) at 1:17 PM for Track 2; this request was lifted at 1:20 PM.

Figure 1: Google Maps overhead satellite image of incident area. Red pin indicates approximate location of POWR employees.

At 1:22 PM, the POWR employee requested Foul Time again for Track 2, and at 1:27 PM they were granted Foul Time by the ROCC, who requested Train 114 (T-114), which was in approach to Twinbrook on Track 2, to hold. The ROCC controller stated that T-114 would be facing a red signal, which the operator of T-114 acknowledged.

At 1:28:21 PM, while the employee was in the process of reading back to the ROCC the Foul Time clearance, a train horn was sounded, after which time the employee announced to the ROCC that there was a train coming.

At 1:28:31 PM, the operator of T-110, which had just departed Rockville and was traveling on Track 1, contacted the ROCC that there was personnel on the same track as their train, and that their train was currently stopped. The ROCC immediately asked the POWR employee which track the employee was on, to which the employee responded twice they were on Track 2. The operator of T-110 reported that the employees were on the same track as their train. At this time the POWR employee realized and acknowledged their mistake, and that they were on Track 1, not Track 2, and had been confused by the markers on the tracks.

Figure 2: Image from MetroHero, with the arrow indicating the approximate location of track personnel at the time T-110 stopped.

By 1:31 PM, the POWR employees were clear from the tracks and T-110 resumed normal movement.

PROBABLE CAUSEĀ 

Rail Transit OPS Group believes the probable cause for this incident is a lack of familiarization of the right of way by both POWR personnel and ROCC controllers; had the ROCC controller been familiar with the territory they were in charge of, the controller would’ve realized that Track 2 was next to CSX tracks and that there was no reason for the POWR employees to cross.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Rail Transit OPS Group recommends that WMATA makes the following changes to prevent recurrence:

  1. Increase ROCC controllers’ requirements to physically know the territory they are in charge of.
  2. Install track diagrams at each access gate to aid WMATA personnel as well as first responders in determining the track’s orientation prior to entering the track bed.
  3. Expand Foul Time restrictions to cover all tracks in the requested area, not just the affected track.

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Rail Transit OPS Group provides independent evaluations of rail transit operations, performance, and safety processes as part of its dual mission: monitor and evaluate rail transit operators’ adherence to these processes, and provide additional information during service disruptions.

Rail Transit OPS Group business operations are solely funded by individual contributions from the public. To make a contribution visit our Support Page You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @RailTransitOPS.