Derailment investigation cuts into Metrorail service

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Last week, RT&S reported on a WMATA derailment on the Blue Line. The suspected cause of the derailment is a failure of wheel assembly alignment.

Reduced Metrorail service is expected to continue until at least Sunday, Oct. 24, as the investigation into the Oct. 12 derailment continues. Beginning tomorrow, trains will operate every 15 minutes on the Red Line and will continue to operate every 30 minutes on all other lines. Silver Line trains will operate between Wiehle-Reston East and Federal Center SW only.

Metro has taken all 748 of its 7000-series railcars out of service pending further inspections, and they will not return to service until they are deemed safe. The 7000-series trains make up approximately 60 percent of Metro’s railcar fleet. Without these railcars, Metro is able to operate significantly fewer trains than normal. All trains will operate as six-car trains.

“Safety remains Metro’s number one priority,” said Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld. “While we continue working hand-in-hand with the NTSB, FTA, and WMSC on the investigation, I want to assure our customers that their safety is driving every decision being made. We apologize for the reduced service, and ask for our customers’ continued patience and support as we work to get Metro back to normal operations. I want to thank Metro employees who are working around the clock. Your dedication is appreciated.”

“The Board is monitoring the investigation’s process, while supporting management’s effort to follow the data and take safety precautions as we learn new information,” said Metro Board of Directors Chair Paul C. Smedberg. “As a function of its oversight responsibility, the Board will take any actions necessary to ensure the safety of Metro’s customers and employees as the facts of the investigation develop.” 

Customers are encouraged to consider using Metrobus for their travel if possible. Visit or use the trip planner at to explore travel alternatives.

Click here for Metro’s most up-to-date information regarding the derailment and investigation, which is being led by the NTSB.

Customers are encouraged to sign up for MetroAlerts text or email messages to receive the latest service information, follow us on Twitter @MetrorailInfo, or check

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