HRT Prepared to Replace Faulty METRORail Axle Counters

Press Release New Metro Going Places

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Release Date:
Oct. 24, 2016

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The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the region’s largest public transit provider, offering safe, reliable and affordable transportation services about 370,000 times per day. Besides operating more than 1,200 buses on a New Bus Network,METRORail's expanded system includes the Red Line (Main Street and Northline), Green Line (East End) and Purple Line (Southeast). METRO’s services also include: STAR VanpoolMETROLiftHOV/HOT lanesBike & Ride program, Park & Ride, and road improvement projects. Learn more about METRO services at where you will also find information about our T.R.I.P. app, and METRO's Next Bus Arrival texting as well as our free Mobile TIcketing app. 


METRO Contractor Presents Plan to Fix Faulty Rail Axle Counters

METRO has been provided a plan by contractor Houston Rapid Transit (HRT) to immediately begin addressing a mechanical issue that has slowed the Authority's rail service at times, creating a headache for operations and riders of the three-line METRORail system and drivers at rail crossings.

Click here for some video examples of what drivers have encountered as a result of malfunctions along METRO's newest rail lines.

The repairs scheduled for Green, and Purple and Red Line extension (Northline) axle counters follow months of study and workarounds on malfunctioning hardware which often triggers a false report of a train occupying a portion of track when no rail car is present. Siemens, the manufacturer of the component, had been unable to remedy the issue since it began surfacing in 2014 on the newly opened rail lines. 

"We are relieved and hopeful that the situation will be resolved in the next several months. With the work scheduled to begin immediately, and a good result expected from the new Frauscher product, we are ready to move forward," said METRO President & CEO Tom Lambert. "This has been very frustrating for METRO operations, safety folks and, most importantly, for drivers and riders who are not happy with delays in train traffic and malfunctioning gates."    

Fixing the issue means replacing the axle counters. The new units have proven workable but their installation will require temporary closures and disruption of rail schedules on the Purple and Green Lines as well as a portion (north of Burnett Station) on the Red Line.  

Buses will be used to transport rail passengers during track closures. The work, which occurs over the next several months, extends through May 2017 and will not cause closures during Super Bowl, Houston Livestock and Rodeo, pro and college football and other major scheduled events.   

"We will be making announcements well in advance of any shutdowns that may occur during the week or on weekends.Now that we have a fix we are instituting it," said Lambert. 

HRT is picking up the cost of replacing the units.