Wednesday morning rail news:
DC Metro tampered with evidence of train separation, safety commission says
Evidence relating to the separation of a moving DC Metro train earlier this month was tampered with during the investigation, according to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission. The Washington Post reports that between the initial investigation incident on Oct. 9 and the arrival of investigators at a Metro facility the next day, a bolt was tightened on the coupler assembly that had disconnected when the train separated [see “Digest: Commission investigating separation of moving DC Metro train,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 12, 2020]. A Metro official says the tampering was not “nefarious,” but was part of testing for Metro’s own investigation. The safety commission has requested Metro take corrective action to prevent such incidents — “training to ensure each Metrorail employee and all relevant contractors understand their responsibilities as they relate to safety event investigations.” WUSA-TV reports that safety commission CEO David Mayer told a commission meeting on Tuesday that an insufficiently tightened bolt was likely responsible for the separation: “The lack of damage to certain parts of the rail car suggests that the clamping bolt likely worked its way loose over time.”
VIA will require certificate for passengers not wearing masks
VIA Rail Canada will require passengers not wearing masks to provide a certificate showing they are medically exempt from wearing one as of Nov. 9. VIA’s website says the certificate, which must be accompanied by a government-issued photo ID, must indicate the passenger’s name and specify that the individual has a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask, and must be provided by healthcare provider on official letterhead with the provider’s license and contact information. CTV News reports that the policy mirrors that of Transport Canada for airline passengers, and that children under age 2 are exempt.
Fortress reduces size of bond sale for Las Vegas high speed project
Fortress Investment Group has cut the size of its municipal bond sale for the Xpress West high speed rail project to $2.4 billion, an $800,000 reduction, Bloomberg reports. It will still be the largest ever offering of unrated municipal securities. The money will finance construction of the planned high speed line between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif., by Brightline affiliate Xpress West.