WMATA derailment on agency’s Blue Line

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Passengers riding a Washington, D.C. Metro train at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12 experienced a significant disruption to their travel plans.

According The Washington Post, a train derailed not far from the agency’s Arlington Cemetery station, which is on the Blue Line. The train derailed in a tunnel between the Arlington Cemetery station and the Rosslyn station. Officials said 187 passengers were evacuated between the time of the derailment and 7:45 p.m.

As passengers sat in the dead train in the dark tunnel, emergency responders told passengers that they would have to walk to the Arlington Cemetery station, which was about one quarter mile away. As passengers heard this news, the first responders were placing glow sticks on the train floor so passengers could find their way through the train.

Some passengers were reporting smoke in the cars, and the operator of the train reported a “stuck holding brake” as the train moved out of the Rosslyn station. There were no passenger injuries, except for one who was taken to a local hospital because they were suffering from anxiety. It appears that only one car left the tracks in this derailment.

The NTSB announced yesterday that it was going to lead the investigation because Metro has had tunnel derailments like this in the past, and their investigation could “advance a known safety issue.”

Metro reported that suspension of service on the Blue Line between Rosslyn and the Pentagon station would continue today. Service was suspended yesterday as well.

As the NTSB continues to investigate, RT&S will report on further developments.

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