Metro placed three brand new escalators into service Friday at Pentagon Station. The new escalators are the seventh, eighth and ninth to be installed under the Metro Forward rebuilding effort.
Pentagon’s new escalators opened to the public following the evening rush hour at 7:30 p.m.
Pentagon Station has two banks of entrance escalators, both leading to the station’s fare gates. The newly-replaced escalators are known as the “southside escalators,” located on the left side as passengers exit the station. The previous escalators were the Metro systemâ€™s last units manufactured by British company APV Baker, which stopped producing escalators and parts several years ago. The reliability of the original units had been among the lowest on the Metrorail system due to difficulty obtaining parts.
Last year, Metro installed new escalators at Foggy Bottom and the south entrance of Dupont Circle.
120 to go
Metro is planning to fully replace an additional 120 escalators by 2020, including 14 projects starting by next summer at Bethesda, Columbia Heights, Friendship Heights, Georgia Ave-Petworth, Glenmont, Mt Vernon Sq, Van Ness and Shady Grove. Todayâ€™s opening brings to nine the number of escalators replaced so far.
Metro recently reported that more escalators are in service today than at any point in nearly five years. For the 2nd quarter of the year (April through June), Metro achieved an availability score of 91.9 percent — meaning that more than nine of every ten escalators were in service during operating hours.
In addition to the escalator replacement projects, Metro has already “rehabilitated” to “like new” condition 103 escalators across the system with 33 more to be completed by mid-2014. Rehabilitation projects result in the replacement of all critical parts, including the escalator’s steps, handrails, motors, controllers, chains, and other moving parts.
Metro has 588 escalators, including the longest in the Western Hemisphere at Wheaton Station.