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Rail News: Safety

WMATA to test electric emergency-response vehicle


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is testing a battery-operated electric cart designed to help authority personnel respond more quickly to emergency situations on the Metrorail system.

Featuring room for four people and equipment, the “MEC-4” cart can operate up to 10 mph on tracks. WMATA used a U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant to purchase the British-made vehicle.

The authority will test the cart in a training course with first responders. Depending on test results, WMATA will purchase additional carts to store at various rail system locations.

“An emergency situation in the Metrorail system would most likely mean power is taken down on rails,” said Metro Transit Police Captain Jeff Delinski in a prepared statement. “Because the MEC-4 runs on battery power, we would be able to drive the vehicle on the tracks and respond quickly to the scene.”

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More News from 10/26/2006