BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

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BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby JDC » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:00 pm

NBCWash News is reporting that Metro will close for 24 hours to allow for a full-scale system inspection. Supposedly it will occur tonight, midnight.
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby JDC » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:01 pm

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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:04 pm

From the same article (actually the TV news broadcast), GM Paul Wiedefeld says that the (traction supply?) cables are very suspect. He wants to make sure that the cables are in good enough condition to support the system, after the fires at both L'Enfant and McPherson Square.

There'll be a press conference at 4:30. So far, no response from OPM or prominent private employers. (I'm trying to figure out what my internship will ask.)
Last edited by mtuandrew on Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby JDC » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:05 pm

Washington Post front page, so I cannot click on it, is reporting that the shutdown will last 'at least 29 hours'.
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby YOLO » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:13 pm

awww yeahhh work from home

hopefully they're actually going to replace them instead of just inspecting
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:15 pm

YOLO wrote:awww yeahhh work from home

hopefully they're actually going to replace them instead of just inspecting

That's the idea. This'll be a full-court press to inspect, remount, and when appropriate replace the cables, according to preliminary press reports from NBC Washington.
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby wrivlin » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:17 pm

So why is this not being done on a weekend...? Or if it's that urgent, why isn't it being done now?
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby JDC » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:18 pm

wrivlin wrote:So why is this not being done on a weekend...? Or if it's that urgent, why isn't it being done now?


I guess Metro will say it's safe enough for one last commute home, but not safe enough to last till the weekend.

WP's story now up: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/2016/03/15/8e0b2be4-eae8-11e5-b0fd-073d5930a7b7_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-high_metro-4pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:19 pm

wrivlin wrote:So why is this not being done on a weekend...? Or if it's that urgent, why isn't it being done now?

Because it's the middle of damn rush hour, lol. Metro has a duty to get commuters back out of the District too.

And crassly, this is a kick in the pants for Congress. They might resent the actions, but the squeaky wheel (and sparking cable) gets the grease.

No word yet on http://www.wmata.com.
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:21 pm

JDC and I talked about this in a PM, but:

This may be the first time that an entire rapid transit system has been shut down since 9/11.
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:35 pm

Press Conference now. Will provide updates.
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:39 pm

GM Wiedefeld says he received a report last night about the risks in the cabling system, and made the decision to shut down tomorrow due to the possibility of a life safety risk.

"From where I sit, the safety of the public and my employees is paramount." -in response to the question of why he can't wait for the weekend.

600 cables to inspect. Wants to make sure there isn't any friction damage causing metal-on-metal contact between cable and tunnel liner, as well as water damage and corrosion under the insulation.
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby Jeff Smith » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:41 pm

At the request of a couple board "regulars", I've "globalized" the topic. This is a rare occurrence where an entire system is shut down for a safety inspection. I'll change it back in a week or so.
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby JDC » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:42 pm

Metro's press release: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=6082

Government Agency Press Release Exemption from Fair-Use:

All Metrorail service will be suspended Wednesday, March 16, for emergency inspections



Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, with support from the Authority's Board of Directors, today announced the full closure of the Metrorail system on Wednesday, March 16, for emergency inspections of the system's third-rail power cables following an early morning tunnel fire yesterday.

The inspections of approximately 600 "jumper cables" will occur along all tunnel segments on the Metrorail system. At the conclusion of the inspection process, there may be a need for additional rail service outages. Any further service impacts will be announced to the public as soon as they are known.

"While the risk to the public is very low, I cannot rule out a potential life safety issue here, and that is why we must take this action immediately," Wiedefeld said. "When I say safety is our highest priority, I mean it. That sometimes means making tough, unpopular decisions, and this is one of those times. I fully recognize the hardship this will cause."

The Metrorail system will close at its normal time tonight (midnight) and remain closed until 5 a.m. Thursday. All six Metrorail lines and all 91 stations will be closed on Wednesday.

The unprecedented action follows an early morning electrical fire involving a cable in the tunnel outside McPherson Square Station yesterday. There were no injuries; however, service was disrupted along the Blue, Orange and Silver lines throughout the day.

“The investigation into yesterday’s cable fire at McPherson Square is ongoing," Wiedefeld said. “As a preliminary matter, the conditions appear disturbingly similar to those in the L’Enfant incident of a year ago, and our focus is squarely on mitigating any risk of a fire elsewhere on the system.”

Metrobus and MetroAccess service will continue to operate on a regular schedule. Alternate service options throughout the region will be extremely limited, and severe crowding is expected on buses. The public is advised to make alternate travel arrangements as early as possible.



News release issued at 4:35 pm, March 15, 2016
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Re: BREAKING: Metro to close for 24 hours, per reports

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:45 pm

Wiedefeld also wants to inspect the faulty boots that were fingered last year by the NTSB, in addition to the cables that were inspected appx a year ago.

He's spoken with Transportation Secretary Foxx and the NTSB, and also the Mayor of Washington and other local officials. Metro employees and consultants will be performing the inspection. The Metro chairman and Board supports Wiedefeld's decision, and acknowledges how hard the commute will be.
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