Speed Reads

safety first

Washington Metro resumes service after 24-hour shutdown, details serious damage repaired

At 5 a.m. on Thursday, the Washington Metro regional commuter rail system resumed service after a hastily called 24-hour shutdown. New Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld had ordered the service pause so inspectors could look over 600 subway power cables, after a pre-commute fire broke out in one tunnel on Monday. The inspection crew found and repaired cables in three heavily trafficked areas where the damage was so serious that, if Metro had known about it, the lines would have been immediately shut down, Wiedenfeld said, adding, "This is what a safety culture looks like."

Not all local officials agreed with Wiedefeld's decision to shut down all service for a day, but there is widespread agreement that Metro has to focus on safety and repairs, and also get a secure stream of revenue. Smoke from a January 2015 fire in the Metro killed one person and injured others.