Campus Notebook: Norton Reax

Posted June 23, 2009 at 6:31pm

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) wants Congress to pay for the replacement of Metro’s older cars, after Monday’s fatal train crash.

[IMGCAP(1)]In a press release Tuesday, Norton said she also has requested that the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that covers the District hold a hearing on the crash.

At least nine people died in the accident, when one train crashed into the back of another near the Fort Totten station on the Red Line. A fail-safe computerized signal system is supposed to prevent trains from colliding, and it’s unclear why the system failed. The front car of the train that crashed was also one of the oldest in the Metro fleet.

Congress has already authorized spending $1.5 billion over 10 years to help Metro maintain its tracks and machinery. But money to replace the outdated “1000 series— trains — which make up about a third of the fleet — hasn’t been appropriated, according to Norton.

“The time to act is overdue,— Norton said in the release. “Our work to authorize $1.5 billion for Metro came after compelling testimony that the maintenance problems of the system have fallen into the danger zone. Yesterday compelling testimony became compelling and tragic evidence.—

Submit your Campus Notebook tips here.