Security and Safety

Report: D.C. Metro knew smoke-emergency system was an issue

Posted on February 18, 2015

Larry Levine
Larry Levine

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Months before a fatal crisis last month in which noxious fumes enveloped a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) train underground, the agency set out to improve its decade-old computerized process for handling smoke emergencies in tunnels, but the planned upgrades, meant to help Metro pinpoint the location of smoke and coordinate the work of ventilation fans, have not advanced beyond the paperwork stage, The Washington Post reported.

A complete software replacement is needed to “make the rail system safer for customers and employees [and to] provide improved customer satisfaction through more reliable and efficient operation,” according to the Nationa Safety Transportation Board. Metro hopes that the years-long process of overhauling the software eventually will make it easier for train controllers to perform a variety of tasks — particularly in emergencies. For the full story, click here.

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