Metro has removed all of its 6000-series trains from the tracks after a railcar that was carrying passengers separated from another railcar.
The 6000-series Metro train carrying passengers came apart Tuesday at its coupler, the piece that holds the railcars together.
It’s the second time such an incident has happened in two months. A separation also happened in early October on the Red Line outside Union Station when a lose bolt was the focus of the problem.
But that doesn’t seem to be the issue this time around.
"Preliminary information suggests that yesterday’s failure mode was different.
In other words, it appears that different pieces of the coupler assembly failed in these events,” said David Mayer, the head of the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission. “Our railcar expert will be present on Monday when the coupler is disassembled for further study, and Metro is bringing in a representative from the manufacturer to participate in the activity.”
Tuesday's separation happened at a crossover point in the tracks. A Metro source told News4 if a train is going too slow that area, that can create problems. The exact speed of the train isn’t known yet.
Metro board members have been raising concerns about a lack of clear procedures when this type of incident happens. Most notably, there’s no way to communicate with people in the cars that separate from train operators.
"It continues to trouble me that there’s no protocol in place and there wasn’t a protocol in place for someone in Metro to actually be on the scene and get on that train," Metro Board member Michael Goldman said.
Metro said it continues to inspect all of the 6000-series railcars, and there are close to 200 of them.
It’s too early to say if this is an issue with all of them.