WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Metro installed the very first automated inspection system to test wheelsets of the 7000-series railcars this week, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
WMATA officials said that engineers will start working on the next test now that the first installation is complete. The automated inspection system is being put in place to digitally inspect wheels in real-time. Officials announced the addition of this system in March 2022, and moving forward with it keeps Metro on pace with having the 7000-series back in service by late summer.
Riders are excited about the news but are still wary to fully trust the new timeline, pointing out WMATA’s track record with bringing the cars back.
Chris Devine, who rides the Metro daily, said, “(They) don’t really have the best track record, credibility, so I really hope they follow through and all the 7000-series cars are back.”
Other riders said they are just going to wait and see. Mikea Smith, a daily rider, said, “I guess only time will tell, right?”
The official date that the cars will be back in service has not been announced. WMATA has only confirmed that it will be late in the summer of 2022.
Metro began reviewing the key components of its return to service plan last month.
The plan will include new inspection procedures and training for staff to safely maintain and inspect the 7000-series railcars which are set to return later this summer.
The Washington Metro Safety Commission will continue monitoring WMATA to make sure they are following their safety plan. The next WMSC meeting is on Tuesday, May 24.