With fewer observe issues, Metro says extra rail journeys are on time – Higher Higher Washington

Picture by pablo.uncooked used with permission.

Metro says its rail system is turning into extra dependable and bettering after years of decline, in line with paperwork offered to the company’s Board of Administrators on Could 10. Metro hopes to make use of these improved reliability numbers to point out misplaced riders that the system is getting higher they usually can return.

Metrorail reveals efficiency enhancements, however nonetheless removed from good

Metro’s MyTripTime metric, which debuted in Fiscal Yr 2016, tracks how lengthy every particular person journey within the system ought to take. It components in strolling time from the fare gates to the platform, the utmost anticipated wait time for a prepare, most switch waits, and the precise journey time.

The company says that 87% of journeys have been on time up to now within the present fiscal yr up to now (2018). Solely 67% of journeys have been on time final yr when important parts of the system have been shut down for SafeTrack, and 74% of journeys have been on time the yr earlier than that in FY 2016.

Metro’s prepare on-time efficiency metric, which tracks how evenly spaced trains stay plus or minus two minutes, says the company has averaged 90% up to now in FY 2018. Metro doesn’t report on-time efficiency evaluating prepare station arrivals to the company’s printed schedules.

Railcar information launched by the company say that 559 offloads occurred within the first 9 months of the fiscal yr, in comparison with 883 and 1,298 in FY 2017 and FY 2016 up to now, respectively. Fewer Metrorail trains run this yr after a 25% service lower carried out July 2017 triggered trains to run solely each eight minutes as a substitute of each six.

The company attributes extra dependable trains to the continued acceptance of latest 7000-series trains and having been in a position to retire the 1000- and 4000-series vehicles. The 4000-series railcars have sometimes been the worst-performers within the Metrorail fleet, and the 7000-series vehicles have change into the brand new ‘star’ performer, operating extra reliably on common than even the 6000s.

Two measures Metro makes use of to trace how dependable railcars are Imply Distance Between Delays (MDBD) and Imply Distance Between Failure (MDBF). The later sometimes is a extra “true” measure of reliability of the railcar, whereas the MDBD metric measures reliability that may differ based mostly on operator and rail site visitors controller expertise.

Railcar MDBD has been on the rise during the last three fiscal years. It averaged 55,000 miles in FY 2016 whereas reliability elevated to 73,000 miles in FY 2017, and is up to now averaging 86,800 miles within the first 9 months of FY 2018. Metro’s aim is 85,000 miles.

Railcar MDBF equally elevated over the previous three years from 5,000 to five,900 and now 9,700 miles in FY 2016, 2017, and 2018 respectively. The 7000-series vehicles have averaged 17,300 miles MDBF up to now in FY 2018 and leads the fleet. The following-highest dependable collection is the 2000s, averaging 10,400 miles MDBF this yr.

Observe issues have begun to come back down

The variety of occasions trains ran previous a crimson observe sign decreased from 14 in 2017 in comparison with seven up to now in 2018. There have been eight reported crimson sign violations in 2016. The company attributes the decline to upgrading alerts from common bulbs to LEDs so that they’re simpler to see, improved upkeep, and improved communications.

Fires on the tracks have barely declined from 66 in each FY up to now 2016 and 2017 to 61 up to now in 2018. Essentially the most fires this yr have been attributed to arcing (27) adopted intently by “non-electrical” fires (26). 5 of the 61 fires this fiscal yr have been cable fires, just like these which contributed to a system-wide Metrorail shutdown again in 2016 and the dying of a passenger in 2015.

As well as, 11% of the system’s tracks have been below pace restrictions that restrict how briskly trains can run. Pace restrictions are positioned on tracks when inspectors establish defects, and restrictions can gradual trains right down to ‘medium’ speeds round 35 mph, gradual speeds beneath 15 mph, or utterly halt prepare site visitors in an space.

Metro’s aim is to have beneath 2.2% of tracks below pace restrictions when the metric is measured at 9 am on the primary Wednesday of each month. A pace restriction on the Crimson and Orange/Silver/Blue strains limiting trains to 35 mph may very well be lifted as quickly as this summer season, in line with company paperwork. The restriction was carried out as a consequence of a Federal Transit Administration directive instructing the company to cut back the ability draw of its trains.

Metro’s tracks have been in dangerous sufficient form in 2015 that an empty Orange Line prepare derailed between Federal Triangle and Smithsonian stations as a consequence of tracks that have been too large. Metro staff discovered the difficulty a month earlier, however did not act on the data and it went unaddressed. Inspectors have been ordered to judge each different curve within the Metrorail system afterwards to seek out different important points.

Metro Causes is an everyday breaking information, investigative reporting, and evaluation column by Stephen Repetski about the whole lot Metro. Please ship tricks to Metro Causes.


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Stephen Repetski is a Virginia native and has lived within the Fairfax space for over 20 years. He has a BS in Utilized Networking and Programs Administration from Rochester Institute of Know-how and works in Info Know-how. Studying about, discussing, and analyzing transit (particularly planes and trains) is a passion he enjoys.

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