Dozens of 7000-series Metrorail cars, the newest in the DC-area system’s fleet, will be back on tracks starting Thursday, Metro announced Wednesday.
But Metro still hasn’t identified the problem that caused some train wheels to move outward, which led to a derailment in October.
Many of the railcars have sat in rail yards such as one in West Falls Church. Movement in the rail yards could be seen on Wednesday, with some test trains on tracks.
There will only be eight 7000-series trains to start because Metro will have to monitor them every day in excruciating detail.
Metro’s interim general manager, Andy Off, described careful oversight.
“I think when you look through the return-to-service plan, what you are going to see is a daily inspection,” he said.
In order for Metro to take measurements of the wheels to make sure they aren’t moving too much, the transit agency will have to spend plenty of manpower hours.
Only 64 railcars out of a total of 748 will come back at first.
The chair of Metro’s board overseeing the agency tried to reassure riders.
“There have been a lot of great things that have happened with Metro. Metro is really not the mess I think that people think it is, ”Paul Smedberg said.
The 7000-series trains will appear first on the Green and Yellow lines, Metro said. They’re then set to be used next month to increase service on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.
For now, riders are hoping for more progress with the railcars so their commutes can get back on track.