Red Line Metro Train Derails in D.C.
No one injured; failure occurred outside Farragut North
A Shady Grove-bound Red Line train derailed Monday morning outside the Farragut North station in Washington, D.C.
Metro officials said no one was injured on the train, which was carrying 61 passengers, a Metro police officer and the train operator.
After the train derailed around 6:30 a.m., first responders descended on the scene. Passengers walked about 2,000 feet in the Red Line tunnel to return to the Metro Center station after the derailment.
Metro turned off the electrified third rail as first responders assisted passengers out of the tunnel, according to The Washington Post.
— Unsuck DC Metro (@unsuckdcmetro) January 15, 2018
The train had fewer passengers than on a typical Monday morning due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Federal government offices and many other business are closed Monday due to the holiday.
Red Line service was initially suspended between Dupont Circle and Gallery Place due to the derailment and Metro put shuttles into service to transport riders around the scene. At 10:15 a.m., Metro announced that trains were single-tracking between Judiciary Square and Farragut North due to the derailment and warned riders to expect delays in both directions.
The derailment immediately set off questions from officials and riders about how the derailment happened, given that Metro has spent millions of dollars and the past two years working to catch up on maintenance issues and fix problematic rail segments after a woman died from smoke inhalation on a Yellow Line train in 2015.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia tweeted Monday he’s “grateful to hear there have been no injuries,” but asked “for more information from [Metro] to find out how and why this happened.”
I’m grateful to hear that there have been no injuries reported but I am asking for more information from WMATA to find out how and why this happened. https://t.co/xx3EhrJ1wF
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) January 15, 2018
The derailment happened as Metro seeks a dedicated funding source to bolster its budget and fund additional long-term repairs and maintenance.
Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner, the chair of the council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Monday that Metro needs more resources.
“I think the bottom line is the same as it’s been for some period of time—we need to invest in Metro,” Berliner said. “We cannot treat it as if it were a new system. It’s a 40-year-old system that needs dedicated funding in order to pull out of its current state.”