Metro (WMATA)

Metro Train Derails in Maryland After Possibly Going Through Red Signal

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What to Know

  • A portion of a Red Line Metro train derailed near the Silver Spring station Tuesday morning.
  • No passengers or workers were hurt and the train remained upright, Chopper4 footage shows.
  • Metro riders should expect delays. Shuttle bus service was offered.

A Metro train on the Red Line derailed outside the Silver Spring station Tuesday morning, forcing the suspension of train traffic in the area but not injuring any riders or workers, officials say.

The train appears to have gone through a red signal right before it derailed, according to a preliminary investigation by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, the independent agency that oversees and enforces safety practices. Metro did not immediately comment on the finding. 

The first two cars of an outbound train derailed at low speed as the train left the station at about 11:20 a.m., Metro said in a statement. None of the 32 passengers on board nor the operator were hurt. 

A Metro train on the Red Line has derailed outside the Silver Spring station, officials say. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries, fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said.

The train had just stopped in the Silver Spring station and was headed to the Glenmont station when the cars derailed, Metro said. Six of the train’s eight cars still hadn’t cleared the platform, so most passengers were able to exit on their own. 

The operator and at least one passenger were stuck in a train car because the doors were jammed shut, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said. Firefighters helped some riders evacuate from the train.

People could have been hurt if ridership were not low because of the coronavirus pandemic, Piringer said.

Chopper4 footage shows at least one train car slipped off an outdoor section of track. The cars remained upright.

According to a preliminary investigation, no train equipment failed, Metro said.

“Current information does not indicate any conditions or failures related to infrastructure or equipment,” Metro said. 


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Metro's investigation is underway and the operator will undergo “post-incident testing,” per federal regulations. 

An investigation by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission also is underway and will review the status of switches and signals and the level of communication among workers, among several other factors. 

According to their probe, the first car of the train entered a center storage track, also known as a pocket track. A train that was out of service was on that track. The second car was headed on the correct track and derailed. The first and second cars appear to have “made contact.” 

Train service is suspended between the Takoma Park and Wheaton stations. Metro riders should expect delays. Shuttle bus service is available. Drivers also should expect delays, as roads in the area are closed amid the response.

Metro expects to have single-track service in the area Tuesday afternoon. 

Starting before the derailment, service on a large portion of the Red Line was suspended for hours because of flooding after heavy rain. Trains were stopped between the Van Ness and Farragut North stations due to flooding at Cleveland Park and Woodley Park, Metro said before 6 a.m. Service there was running again by 1:45 p.m. 

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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