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The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has issued a safety advisory that requires state safety oversight agencies (SSOAs) to report on out-of-tolerance wheel gauges on transit-rail rolling stock in service, according to a notice in the Federal Register.
This follows the derailment of a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metrorail train on Oct. 12 in Arlington, Virginia. While none of the 187 passengers were injured, the accident prompted an ongoing National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation that has found issues with the transit agency’s safety protocols.
The FTA advisory will require fleet-wide inspections of wheel gauges.
SSOA managers are now required to submit their data on the fleets in service by Dec. 1 and submit results of the wheel gauge inspections by Jan. 3, 2022. Those reports will include total fleet size, wheel gauge inspection protocols and number of vehicles that failed wheel gauge tolerance levels between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. Equipment that is subject to Federal Railroad Administration safety oversight is exempt.
“The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating this safety event, focusing on the pressed wheel/axle interface and widening wheel gauge on wheels and axle,” according to the press release.
To read the FTA's full safety advisory, click here.