WMATA's public relations team sent out an update email on the current status of the investigations they're doing on the rail tracks since they closed rail service yesterday.
(Spoiler, they're 50% done and found at least a half dozen damaged jumper cables and connector boots.)
Related: What to do with Metro closed Wednesday (March 15, 2016)
See email below:
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 1:11 PM
Subject: Metro Update
I wanted to provide you with an update on the Metrorail inspections that have taken place since last night. This is an interim update and we will be providing more information later this afternoon.
We have reached the 50% completion mark in the cable inspection process and Metro has already identified a half dozen areas where damaged jumper cables and connector boots are being replaced.
In the overnight and morning hours, Metro deployed 22 teams to inspect the third rail power system. Walking though miles of tunnel using 14 prime movers to move supplies and materials, the teams are inspecting 22 underground zones. The teams -- consisting of Metro employees, contractors, and outside electrical engineering experts -- are inspecting jumper cables, cable connecting boots, and the environment around the cables. The teams are looking for damaged cables, damaged boots, and debris near cables that would could pose a fire hazard. Behind the inspection teams are 3 cable construction crews who are replacing and repairing any locations that are identified for immediate action.
Meanwhile, Metro’s Safety investigators are reviewing the history of the damaged boots and cables we found. All findings will be shared with FTA and NTSB.
Any changes to procedures, materials, and management of the third rail power system that is needed as a result of these findings will be made expeditiously at the conclusion of the investigation.
For our commuters this morning, travel on Metrobus was extremely heavy in some areas. About 50 additional buses were placed into service, largely on DC school routes, which reported no heavy crowding.