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New Dupont Circle Metro escalators break down

Tuesday - 12/4/2012, 4:33pm  ET

escalator closed Dupont Circle Metro (WTOP/Kristi King)
Overnight maintenance work on Dec. 3 blocks access to the escalators at Dupont Circle's South entrance prior to the station opening.(WTOP/Kristi King)

UPDATE: Tuesday - 12/4/2012, 4:29pm ET

WASHINGTON - Metro spokesman Philip Stewart provided the following statement to clarify the escalator outages:

Since the new escalators were placed into service on October 20, there have been three outages that were unrelated to routine break-in adjustments or customer activation of safety switches. Specifically, one outage was to allow the manufacturer to perform a warranty replacement of one drive motor on the center unit, and two outages were to allow for replacement of demarcations (the plastic strip of yellow striping on each step).

In addition, the escalators have been reset 9 times due to safety switch activations, usually the comb-impact safety switch (often the result of heavy luggage striking the comb plate), and there have been 8 routine adjustments to detectors and switches as the units go through their break-in period.

EARLIER: Monday - 12/3/2012, 12:00pm ET

WASHINGTON - Newly installed escalators at the Dupont Circle Metro station are breaking down frequently.

One or more of the escalators at Dupont Circle's south Metrorail entrance have shut down 20 times in the 40 days since they were installed, according to Metro.

One incident lasted only a few minutes, Metro says.

Metro spokesman Philip Stewart tells The Examiner some other outages were for routine adjustments needed as part of the breaking-in period, while others were caused by a safety switch flipping when items, such as heavy luggage, hit the stairs' comb plate.

The new escalators still are under warranty, and Metro has not had to pay for the adjustments and repairs to the new escalators.

Under its current maintenance schedule Metro intends to replace 94 of its 588 escalators over the next seven years.

WTOP's Kristi King contributed to this story. Follow @kingWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)