At least Metrorail is admitting it. The Examiner reports that it will be at least three years before major repair work on the Red Line is complete, and that won’t even be the end of delays and single tracking. Metro officials explain:

Much of the problem is that Metro has a big backlog of maintenance. The agency pointed to the example of rail ties, the wooden cross bars on tracks that support the metal rails. The agency should replace about 12,000 of the 250,000 in the system each year, Troup said, but was replacing about 5,000 a year because of a lack of manpower, funding and adequate equipment. Now the agency has a backlog of 75,000 ties that need to be replaced.