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FTA releases second safety directive to WMATA

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) yesterday issued yet another directive ordering the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to address more than 200 previously identified safety problems.

The issues were documented by the Tri-State Oversight Committee, the agency that was previously responsible for safety oversight for WMATA's Metrorail system before the FTA took over. However, since the committee lacked the authority to move WMATA to action, some of these findings had never been addressed.

Some issues date back to 2008, according to the safety directive obtained by The Washington Post.

"Today's safety directive consolidates the findings from FTA and earlier findings from TOC into a single list that provides helpful clarity and direction," WMATA spokesman Dan Stessel told the newspaper. "Metro is already working on these corrective actions, and we will continue to work cooperatively with FTA to address each one."

One issue raised in the report stemmed from interlocking operators neglecting to follow critical safety rules, which led to two train collisions, according the Post.

As a result, the directive now requires WMATA to conduct a systemwide audit of all train movements in rail yards and shop locations to determine compliance with operating rules.

Following an order by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in October, the FTA took over the D.C.-area transit agency's safety oversight.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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