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DC Metro removing some older cars from service for safety

 

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld is seen in his office with a map of the subway system on the conference table beneath his hands, in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld is seen in his office with a map of the subway system on the conference table beneath his hands, in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON — Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld ordered several dozen 4000-series Metro cars pulled from service Thursday over a safety concern.

A spokesman said they represent a small fraction of the approximately 1,200 cars in service, and that as a result of their removal, riders may notice fewer 8-car trains in service over the next several days.

Metro said in a statement that when a 4000-series car is in the front of a train, there is a “remote” risk it could give a train operator improper information about the speed they should be going. Metro says there is no concern when the 4000-series cars don’t lead the train.

“Today’s action is being taken in an abundance of caution and, while we believe that the risk is small, it is a risk I am unwilling to take,” Wiedefeld said. “Everything we do here is going to put safety first, no matter what.”

The problem has never actually occurred on Metro to its knowledge, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said.

Metro says there are 41 “married pairs” of the cars currently in active service, meaning that two cars are joined together. Metro says that it was already considering retiring them by the end of 2017 and that it “may further accelerate the 4000-series retirement in light of this newly identified issue.”

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