WASHINGTON Metrorail launched through trains from the city centre to the Green line terminus at Greenbelt, Maryland, on January 27. Pending completion of the missing link in the Green line, WMATA has launched peak-hour through trains from Farragut North via the Red line and a connecting curve at Fort Totten. The six-month trial, including discounted park-and-ride offers at Green line stations, is intended to revive declining ridership on the branch since it opened in 1993 and reduce the pressure on parking at outer stations on the Red line.
WMATA has started modifying its ATO equipment to prevent trains from violating speed restrictions if they overshoot station platforms. The move follows a fatal collision during a January 1996 blizzard, which revealed that trains over-running red starting signals failed to pick up ATO speed codes for the next section. Other safety measures after the accident include studies into the crashworthiness of the rolling stock; a series of drills with local fire and rescue brigades was held during February. o