Dozens of Metrorail 7000 series cars, the newest in the DC area system’s fleet, will be back on the rails starting Thursday, Metro announced Wednesday.
But Metro still hasn’t identified the issue that caused some train wheels to move outward, leading to a derailment in October.
Many cars remained in rail yards, such as West Falls Church. Movements in the marshalling yards could be observed on Wednesday, with a few test trains on the tracks.
There will only be eight 7000 series trains to start as Metro will have to monitor them every day in great detail.
Metro’s acting chief executive Andy Off described careful oversight.
“I think when you look at the recommissioning plan, you’ll see a daily inspection,” he said.
In order for Metro to measure the wheels to make sure they don’t move too much, the transit agency will have to put in many man hours.
Only 64 railcars out of a total of 748 will return initially.
The chairman of Metro’s board of directors, which oversees the agency, tried to reassure users.
“There have been a lot of great things that have happened with Metro. The subway really isn’t the mess that I think people think it is,” said Paul Smedberg.
The 7000 series trains will appear first on the green and yellow lines, Metro said. They should then be used next month to increase service on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.
For now, commuters are hoping for more progress with the carriages so their journeys can get back on track.