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Safety inspections cause delays on Red, Purple lines of L.A. subway

September 17, 2010 |  5:47 pm

Subway riders on the Red and Purple lines can expect delays of between 10 and 20 minutes over the weekend as safety inspectors examine the wheels on more than 100 train cars, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman said Friday.

Jose Ubaldo said MTA officials discovered a problem with a wheel on a Red Line train car about noon Friday and launched an investigation to make sure wheels on other trains were safe.

He said the problem with the wheel was a mechanical issue and that sabotage had been ruled out.

Ubaldo said the problem was related to so-called heavy-rail trains on the Red and Purple lines and did not affect traffic on the Green, Blue and Gold lines, which carry light-rail trains.

Until all the trains on the Red and Purple lines have been inspected, Ubaldo said, they will travel at reduced speeds of 25 mph. The slowdown is expected to result in delays of 10 to 12 minutes on the Purple Line, which runs from Union Station to Western Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, and 15 to 20 minutes on the Red Line, which runs from Union Station to North Hollywood.

Ubaldo said the inspection has not turned up any additional problems so far and that officials hoped the work would be complete before the Monday morning commute.

“We’re trying to do this as quickly as possible,” he said.

-- Scott Glover