WMATA to Install Rollback Protection on 182 Rail Cars

WASHINGTON — Washington Metro said it will install rollback protection software on all 182 of its 5000 series rail cars.

The extra layer of protection is designed to prevent trains from rolling backward while they are operating in manual mode, WMATA officials contend. The Metro Board of Directors on Feb. 25 approved the installation of this $813,000 in software on the 5000 series rail cars to be installed by the end of summer.

In doing so, this step will put Metro in compliance with a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation that all rail passenger cars have rollback protection. This recommendation came about as a result of a Nov. 3, 2004, accident when a Metrorail train with no passengers on board rolled back and struck a train that was servicing the platform at the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metrorail station.

Metro’s 2000, 3000 and 6000 series rail cars — 546 rail cars total — have the rollback protection software. Metro is now installing rollback protection on all 288 of its series 1000 rail cars. All 100 of its 4000 series rail cars will also have the protective software installed.