WASHINGTON – Metro has discovered numerous escalator brake issues since the transit agency started inspecting its fleet, officials say.

Metro officials say 568 escalators had their brakes inspected as of Wednesday, and 40 have had their brakes replaced. Ten brake units were oily and have been repaired, while 16 escalators were taken out of service.

Twenty escalators were not checked because they were undergoing major repairs. Those units will be inspected before being placed back in service.

During a Thursday board meeting at Metro headquarters, the discussion about how to deal with the escalator issues turned heated.

“The question is whether or not we have some faulty design issues that suggest we should rip them out and replace them,” board member Gordon Linton said.

WOL Listen Live

That comment visibly upset interim Metro General Manager Richard Sarles.

“We can talk about replacing the escalators … However, we cannot lose focus on the day-to-day maintenance,” Sarles said.

Metro has close to 600 escalators in its system, and each one costs about $1 million. The agency began inspecting its units after an accident last month in which brake issues caused an escalator to free fall, seriously injuring one person.

Metro is now considering inspecting all escalators on a monthly schedule instead of a quarterly one, as it does now.

Meanwhile, three Red Line stations were closed for less than an hour Thursday morning due to debris on the tracks.

The Wheaton, Glenmont and Forest Glen stations were closed after a train struck a piece of track equipment between the Wheaton and Glenmont stations. No one was injured.

Metro spokeswoman Taryn McNeil said a train with passengers was leaving Wheaton about 11 a.m. Thursday when it hit the equipment, damaging the left side of the train. McNeil did not know what kind of equipment was hit.

McNeil says the train was able to back up into the station to allow passengers to get off.

Once the stations reopened, trains were single-tracking between Glenmont and Silver Spring. Normal service has since resumed.

WTOP’s Adam Tuss contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter.

(Copyright 2010 by WTOP and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

WASHINGTON – Metro has discovered numerous escalator brake issues since the transit agency started inspecting its fleet, officials say.

Metro officials say 568 escalators had their brakes inspected as of Wednesday, and 40 have had their brakes replaced. Ten brake units were oily and have been repaired, while 16 escalators were taken out of service.

Twenty escalators were not checked because they were undergoing major repairs. Those units will be inspected before being placed back in service.

During a Thursday board meeting at Metro headquarters, the discussion about how to deal with the escalator issues turned heated.

“The question is whether or not we have some faulty design issues that suggest we should rip them out and replace them,” board member Gordon Linton said.

That comment visibly upset interim Metro General Manager Richard Sarles.

“We can talk about replacing the escalators … However, we cannot lose focus on the day-to-day maintenance,” Sarles said.

Metro has close to 600 escalators in its system, and each one costs about $1 million. The agency began inspecting its units after an accident last month in which brake issues caused an escalator to free fall, seriously injuring one person.

Metro is now considering inspecting all escalators on a monthly schedule instead of a quarterly one, as it does now.

Meanwhile, three Red Line stations were closed for less than an hour Thursday morning due to debris on the tracks.

The Wheaton, Glenmont and Forest Glen stations were closed after a train struck a piece of track equipment between the Wheaton and Glenmont stations. No one was injured.

Metro spokeswoman Taryn McNeil said a train with passengers was leaving Wheaton about 11 a.m. Thursday when it hit the equipment, damaging the left side of the train. McNeil did not know what kind of equipment was hit.

McNeil says the train was able to back up into the station to allow passengers to get off.

Once the stations reopened, trains were single-tracking between Glenmont and Silver Spring. Normal service has since resumed.

WTOP’s Adam Tuss contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter.

View the original article here

Also On Spirit 1340: