Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Capital MetroRail Update

Yesterday at the Capital Metro Board meeting, Executive Vice President Doug Allen presented an update on MetroRail progress. Capital Metro and Veolia have made significant headway to ready the Red Line for passengers.

* The agency has received the official waiver letter from the Federal Railroad Administration that allows Capital Metro to operate the system when all the components are ready.
* Train engineers have been certified on the operation of MetroRail vehicles, and dispatchers have been certified on the use of the Centralized Traffic Control system.
* Veolia has hired a new safety director, Randy Jamieson, with extensive experience in freight and passenger rail operations.
* Capital Metro has completed a comprehensive inspection of rail system components along the entire 32-mile line.

Doug also outlined the "critical path" to startup, as visualized in this chart.

The agency is working with the city to complete the installation and testing of signal preemption technology that will synchronize rail and traffic signals at several major intersections. In addition, Capital Metro is working to improve shunting, which controls the timing of the crossing arms and the ability of rail dispatchers to monitor trains along the system. Both shunting and signal preemption are key components to the successful operation of Capital MetroRail.