No way to run a railroad, part 2

My views regarding the dreadfully inept management of WMATA (DC Metro) are well known. My blog entry two days ago touched on some interesting issues concerning the system.

Now, during this Monday mornings rush hour, comes the news flash that the Dupont Circle station is closed due to problems with two trains. Apparently a train lost parts of its braking system and about 30 minutes into that event, a second train was disabled with an as of yet unknown problem. Since the Dupont station is one of the busiest stations in the system total mayhem ensued. 

This of course follows two incidents during this past weekend. Last Saturday about 12:30 pm the Metro Control Center lost all cabability of tracking trains throughout the whole system. Train operators were directed via radio communication to proceed at a snails pace to the nearest station and to hold there until further orders. Apparently the "tracking computer software" at the Largo Operations Center totally crashed. Metro managed to get it going again after about 45 minutes. 

The whole scenario unfolded again on Sunday at about 2 pm. Exactly the same thing happened. Of course Metro has no clue what transpired. Supposedly there is a back up operations center downtown, but apparently for as yet unknown reasons it did not take over during the outage in Largo, Maryland. 

Hardly a day goes by during which Metro does not have any problems. I believe it is slowly, but steadily getting to the point were something very drastic has to be done. This whole "keystone cops" attitude towards the operation of the system would be funny, if it were not for the fact that peoples safety is at stake. Maybe we could start the process by firing the whole top echelon of the WMATA management and starting from scratch.

Washington, DC Metro Train