(WDVM) — It has been almost four months since a Metrorail train derailed in Virginia, leading to a majority of the overall fleet being pulled from service, and it will be until at least Spring 2022 before plans for the return of the 7000 series cars are announced.

Sharmila Samarasinghe, the Chief Operating Officer with the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC), said, “Our lines of communication are open 24 hours a day and we are able to communicate and discuss and interact and work together.”

WMSC has maintained that commitment to working together and communicating, even when WMATA’s communication has lacked.

Chief Executive Officer, David Mayer, said, “Our strong, independent oversight of the plan Metrorail developed in December is what allowed us to identify that Metrorail did not follow their plan.”

The plan released in mid-December had riders buzzing that service would be back to normal soon.
However, changes were made to that accepted plan without notifying the safety commission, and some of the steps weren’t followed.

Samarasinghe explained, “We communicated this to Metrorail’s Chief Safety Officer, and shortly after Metrorail communicated removing all 7000 series railcars from service.”

Mayer added, “It is up to Metrorail to determine the time needed to gather the information and tools that it needs to develop and implement a safe return to service plan.”

As the safety commission waits for that plan, the investigation and analysis into the October derailment continue.