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New train operators partly to blame for Metro red-light running

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New train operators may be partly to blame for a string of recent incidents in which Metro rail cars have run red signals.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said during a Thursday safety briefing that operations managers would be reviewing the transit agency's training program, including the curriculum, classroom instruction and schedules.

Acting Deputy General Manager for Operations David Kubicek said different types of training would be used to help with new operators and for refreshers, including how to move in the rail yard enviroment.

"We'll be providing individuals with follow-up classes to make sure they feel comfortable," Mr. Kubicek said.

Similar to a car that runs a red light, when a train passes through a red signal it can lead to a dangerous collision or chain of reactions, but on a much larger scale.

Running a red signal caused a February 2010 Farragut North station derailment.

This month Metro admitted that two empty trains had run red lights in the Brentwood rail yard on April 20 and May 6. Since then, there have been several others to run signals, including one the day after a safety meeting.

Mr. Kubicek said one of the red-light incidents involved an operator of heavy equipment who doesn't go through the same kind of classes as train operators.

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