- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday issued six urgent safety recommendations to train systems across the country that use the same kind of audio-frequency track circuits that figured into the deadly Metro crash in Washington in June.

The NTSB said the recommendations come as a result of its investigation into the crash that killed nine and crippled the Metro system for months.

In its investigation, which began hours after the crash, the NTSB has discovered that a “spurious signal generated by a track circuit module transmitter mimicked a valid signal,” the NTSB said.

The investigation is ongoing, said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.

“After only three months, this complex investigation is far from complete, so we are not ready to determine the probable cause of the accident on the [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority],” she said. “However, our findings so far indicate a pressing need to issue these recommendations to immediately address safety glitches we have found that could lead to another tragic accident on WMATA or another transit or rail system.”

Metro is reviewing the recommendations, an agency spokesman said.

Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. told The Washington Times in July that he thought the problems with the 30-year-old computer system could have consequences for transit systems nationwide.

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