‘Track Condition’: Metro releases preliminary finding in train derailment

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Picture Credit: Metro Police

FALLS CHURCH, VA – Service resumed Monday on the Orange and Silver lines following a derailment Friday morning. Buses replaced trains throughout the weekend between Ballston and West Falls Church/McLean to allow for the on-scene investigation and repairs. More than 450 rail ties were replaced in the area, which had not yet been addressed under the SafeTrack program.

While the investigation is ongoing, Metro today released the following preliminary findings:

  1. Metro’s safety department has made a preliminary assessment that the causal factor in the derailment is a track condition, specifically a condition where the two rails on which trains run were too wide as a result of deteriorated rail ties.
  2. Other possible contributing causal factors, including car equipment, weather, temperature and other factors remain under review.
  3. At this time there is no evidence of train operator error.

Metro General Manager/CEO Wiedefeld today ordered a special supervisory inspection of all tracks.

“While Metro and the outside experts continue their review, we are requiring supervisors to conduct a specialized track inspection to look for any other similar conditions that must be immediately addressed,” said Wiedefeld.

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