Cap Metro Puts The Brakes On Rail
It was hinted last month that Capital Metro’s Red Line commuter rail might not make the March 30th deadline for service. Cap Metro officials now say the anticipated commuter rail will be delayed.
Federal railroad and state transportation investigators are looking into a safety violation incident that could delay the opening as long as another month. Capital Metro received notification from investigators that Veolia Transportation-the rail contractor that provides operators and workers to Cap Metro’s Red Line-is being investigated.
Two rail engineers violated safety rules during rail car testing last month. The engineers moved the cars on the track without getting permission from rail operators first—a regular safety procedure.
Veolia Transportation issued the following statement:
bq.Ensuring the safety of our operations, employees and customers is the first priority of Veolia Transportation. As construction crews work overtime to complete the new 32-mile Capital Metro Commuter railroad in Austin, Capital Metro and Veolia Transportation management is reminding all concerned to remain focused on safety. Our Vice President of Safety and Compliance is working closely with Capital Metro management, the Federal Railroad Administration and Texas Department of Transportation to ensure the safety of this new rail service.
Recently, we identified instances where the operators of two training vehicles traveling within the limits of a testing track did not comply with all of the applicable operating rules. Appropriate discipline and retraining of the employees involved in this incident is being undertaken. The extensive training period we are in is standard and designed to assure that all employees are fully prepared and that all systems and facilities are fully operational and rigorously tested.
TXDOT findings are preliminary and further review and investigation by the Federal Railroad Administration will be undertaken before any findings are made final.
We continue to work very hard toward the historic opening of this rail service, but we will only commence service when the safety of the riding public is assured.
Capital Metro still plans to hold its MetroRail celebration on Saturday, March 28.
This is the third delay for the commuter rail Red Line. The original launch date was spring 2008.