Feds Had Told DC to Bench Crashed Train

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 23, 2009 11:54 AM CDT
Investigators and officials continue to work at the scene of a rush-hour collision between two Metro transit trains in northeast Washington today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The subway train that plowed into another stopped train yesterday, killing nine people and injuring scores of others in Washington, was part of an aging fleet that federal officials had sought to phase out because of safety concerns, an investigator said today. The Metrorail transit system kept the old trains running despite warnings in 2006, Debbie Hersman of the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Hersman says the NTSB had warned of safety problems and recommended the old fleet be phased out or retrofitted to help cars better withstand a crash. Neither was done, she said, which the NTSB considered "unacceptable." The Metro's general manager said the agency expected to receive proposals "over the next month or so" to replace the old cars, but new trains were still years away from being installed.