Silver Line progress report: 36

Martin Di Caro briefs us on the outstanding reliability problems to be resolved before Phase 1 of the Silver Line can be opened. Safety is not at issue; rather, the signaling, communication, and control system glitches can lead to trains automatically stopping, requiring the operator to ask operations for an OK to proceed.

Rail safety experts say the Silver Line’s problems, while frustrating for the public, are not unusual in the world of railroad engineering.

“It happens any time new technology is employed with old technology, and it requires the testing of the system on paper and in design,” said Steve Sullivan, a managing director at R.L. Banks and Associates, an Arlington-based rail design and operations consulting firm, referring to the linking of the Silver to Orange Lines.

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