Vehicle Used to Check Metro Tracks Breaks Down

Metro's expensive track vehicle that checks the rail system for flaws broke down last week, causing delays.

It happened Friday morning near the Virginia Square Metro station on the Orange and Silver lines. Delays of up to 30 minutes were reported as trains had to single track around the broken down piece of equipment.

Eventually, the track geometry vehicle was pushed or pulled by another vehicle and cleared off the mainline tracks.

The incident happened one day before Metro began the second surge of it SafeTrack program. Right now, Metrorail service is shut down in a segment of the Orange, Blue and Silver lines in D.C.; two stations are closed, and another two have travel only in one direction. In addition, service has also been eliminated between two stations in Northern Virginia.

Metro says the problem with its rail vehicle had to do with an on-board system.

"It prevented the unit from being able to move under its own power," writes Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel in an email. "It’s akin to the battery of a car failure."

The part needed to fix the track geometry vehicle has been ordered, and it is expected to arrive later this week.

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