Railcar defect forces D.C. Metro to pull more than half of trains out of service

Metro trains in Washington D.C. will only run every 30 minutes on Monday while local authorities investigate an issue with axles on its newest rail cars, officials said Sunday.

A defect was discovered in a car that derailed on the Metro’s Blue Line last week, and the same issue was found in several other 7000-series railcars, according to a statement by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Because of the defect, described as an out of compliance axle, the Washington Metro Safety Commission mandated that all of the 7000-series railcars had to be taken out of service by 5 a.m. Monday.

The affected rail cars make up about 60% of the fleet, leaving 40 trains. According to the safety commission, the amount of time needed to inspect all other trains has not been determined. The National Transportation Safety Board said it would hold a news conference to give an update on the derailment at 10 a.m. Monday.

All lines will operate a “basic service pattern,” the transit authority said, meaning trains would only depart about every 30 minutes. Metro encouraged patrons to consider alternate forms of travel on Monday, and the D.C. public school system advised parents to expect impacts to school operations. “Please leave additional time for your journey to and from school,” DCPS wrote in a statement on Sunday. “Late student arrivals will be marked as excused” [U.S. News & World Report].



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