Safety Review of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail Operations [open pdf - 284KB]
"A recent series of accidents and incidents at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) have raised concerns about the Authority's commitment to safety as its top priority. In January 1996, a train operator was killed at an end-of-the-line station when his train slid on icy tracks into parked railcars. There have also been incidents of tower supervisors misdirecting trains in yards, including an incident in which a supervisor directed a train to pass a red (stop) signal. In April 1996, WMATA disconnected the operating mechanisms for the mid-car emergency doors on approximately 100 rail cars without informing the public. The doors were disabled to allow electrical repairs to be made gradually over a two-day period without removing cars from service. Later that month, two workers were injured when their tools made contact with a live electrical cable that should have been deactivated while tracks were being repaired. On May 10, 1996, a delayed response to a fire put both firefighters and passengers at risk. This document presents a review of safety and operational issues at WMATA. It is being performed under the auspices of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)."
Federal Transit Administration: http://transit-safety.volpe.dot.gov