Reduced Metro Service Expected to Continue Until at Least Sunday, 10/24

Metro has taken all 748 of its 7000-series railcars out of service pending further inspections, and they will not return to service until they are deemed safe. The 7000-series trains make up approximately 60 percent of Metro’s railcar fleet. Without these railcars, Metro is able to operate significantly fewer trains than normal. Service on all lines will operate every 30 minutes today, Monday, October 18. All trains will operate as six-car trains.

Reduced Metrorail service is expected to continue until at least Sunday, October 24, as the investigation into the October 12 derailment continues. Beginning tomorrow, trains will operate every 15 minutes on the Red Line and will continue to operate every 30 minutes on all other lines. Silver Line trains will operate between Wiehle-Reston East and Federal Center SW only.

As Metro continues to work closely with the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission and NTSB and more information develops, we will update the public about service.


Actions Taken

WMATA started working with NTSB and the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission last week to determine the cause of the Blue Line derailment at Arlington Cemetery; that investigation is still ongoing.

Because safety remains our number one priority, we have removed all 7000-series railcars from service to properly inspect the fleet.

These actions are being taken out of an abundance of caution.

  • We understand the impact this decision has on transportation for the DMV area (National Capital Region). We apologize for this reduction in service and the inconvenience this is causing our customers.
  • As customers experience delays and full rail cars during their commute, please know we have made a concerted effort to improve airflow. Face masks continue to be required throughout the system, and Metrorail cars recycle the air approximately every three minutes
  • We want the public to know we are committed to their safety and will continue to release updates as we receive them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Background: On Wednesday, October 13, Metro, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Transit Adminstration (FTA) and the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) launched an investigation into the Blue Line derailment that occurred on Tuesday, October 12, between Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery Stations. The investigation is ongoing, and the following questions provide the most up-to-date information to ensure the public is informed.
Why is the Blue Line investigation still ongoing?
The Blue Line investigation will continue until Metro and our safety partners understand the full extent of the October 12 derailment, and begin to determine what actions are needed to prevent a similar incident from occurring. Metro, NTSB, FTA and WMSC are all committed to safety. Anytime a rail or bus incident occurs, Metro investigates the cause to determine what steps are needed to improve the system and ensure our customers’ safety. In this incident, NTSB is the lead investigative agency.
Why are other organizations involved in the investigation?
NTSB, WMSC and FTA have jurisdiction over investigations and safety practices that govern our operations. All participating agencies have a vested interest in understanding the root cause of this incident and ensuring changes are implemented to uphold the integrity of the system.
What has the investigation revealed?
While the investigation is ongoing, the wheel assembly on our 7000-series railcars is suspected to be a factor in the October 12 derailment, an issue WMATA had been working with Kawasaki, maker of the 7000-series cars, to resolve since 2017.
When did the 7000-series car enter Metro’s fleet?
There are a total of 748 7000-series railcars. The first four pilot railcars were delivered to Metro on January 6, 2014. The first 7000-series trains went into service on April 14, 2015. The last railcars were delivered February 26, 2020.
How often did Metro conduct inspections of the 7000-series car?
Metro’s 7000-series railcars are inspected on an ongoing basis as part of our preventive maintenance program. Over a four-year period, thousands of inspections were conducted. In any instances when wheelsets were found out of tolerance, the trainset was removed from service and the wheelsets were replaced before the cars were put back in passenger service.
What are you doing to ensure the 7000-series rail car is safe?
As part of the ongoing investigation and out of an abundance of caution, we are inspecting the entire fleet and have pulled all the 7000-series rail cars from service at this time. We are also working with Kawasaki, manufacturer of the 7000-series rail cars, to ensure they are actively engaged in this effort to identify and resolve the issues.
How long will the inspection take?
The 7000-series rail cars make up nearly 60 percent of our fleet, and we are committed to a thorough review. The inspections began last week; however, we will work with the WMSC to review the inspection results and determine the next best steps for returning the 7000-series to service. While we understand the impact this investigation has on transportation for our region, we remain committed to safety and ensuring public confidence in Metro.
Is it safe to ride Metro?
Yes, it is safe to ride Metro. Our actions are evidence that we put safety first.
Will there continue to be delays in service?
As the investigation continues, customers can expect less frequent service since less than 40 percent of Metro’s fleet is operating. Rail is running every 30-minutes until otherwise stated. We will continue to keep customers updated on information related to rail and bus services.
How can I find the most up-to-date information?
Customers are encouraged to sign up for MetroAlerts text or email messages to receive the latest service information, follow us on Twitter @MetrorailInfo, or check the weekday Metrorail service adjustments on wmata.com.

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