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Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way

12/13/2017



Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

WMATA reduces Red Line service due to aging communications cable


The 40-year-old cable dates back to the original construction of the agency's rail system.
Photo – WMATA/Larry Levine

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is limiting the number of trains on certain segments of the Red Line due to problems with an aging communications cable.

The 40-year-old cable is used by the signal system to transmit train speed and location data between control rooms located in the Brookland, Fort Totten and Takoma stations. WMATA crews in the coming weekend will replace the cable, which dates back to the original construction of the Metrorail system.

"We have detected a condition that, left unaddressed, could affect the integrity of the signal system, and that is something we take very seriously," said WMATA Chief Operating Officer Joseph Leader in a press release. "Safety demands that the cable be taken out of service and replaced."

To mitigate potential safety issues, only one train at a time is permitted on each track between the Brookland and Fort Totten stations. In addition, only one train at a time is allowed on each track between the Fort Totten and Takoma stations.

WMATA will shut down Red Line service between the Silver Spring and Rhode Island Avenue stations to accommodate the installation. Normal Red Line service could be restored as soon as Dec. 18.

WMATA officials said the cable issue is not related to recent construction activity between the Silver Spring and Fort Totten stations, which involved the installation of a new interlocking.



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