Metro Wants to Bring Back Train Automation

Metro plan to return to automated train operation and automated doors next year if approved by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.

Since the 2009 Red Line crash at Fort Totten killed nine people, Metro’s train operators have manually stopped and started trains.

Metro said returning to automation would lead to an increase in safety, saying it would prevent red light overruns.

Metro said safety concerns after the 2009 crash have all been addressed, including the faulty track circuit issue that led to the crash…

Metro’s train detection system failed in two ways, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. First, it showed the struck train was not stopped and on the tracks when it actually was. Second, the automatic system had the striking train move forward at full speed. By the time its operator saw the stopped train, it was too late for the emergency brakes to stop the train.