Metro has decided to temporarily pull its fleet of 6000-series railcars after a second train-separation incident that happened on the Red Line around 1 pm on November 24.
An eight-car train consisting of 6000-series cars, with 12 passengers aboard, reported mechanical trouble shortly after departing Glenmont Station, before it arrived at its first stop. It was later found that the train’s first and last four cars separated from each other.
“By design, a train will engage a full emergency brake application in the event that a car or cars separate. All indications are that those safety-related features worked as intended today,” said a statement from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
The event is similar to another one in October in which two cars of a Red Line train became detached from a train outside Union Station, according to the statement.
“While the investigation into the October incident remains ongoing, the point of separation occurred at the train’s coupler, effectively a large latch at the end of each railcar that securely connects it to adjoining cars,” the agency said.
The safety directive, which was recommended by Chief Safety Officer Theresa Impastato and approved by General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld, was implemented several hours after the accident and it was expected to be completed by the night time on the same day.
The decision will remain in place until WMATA’s investigation finds the underlying causes and contributing factors involved. The investigators are collecting data from the incident, including photos and measurements in the tunnel. The cars will be further inspected and repaired at a maintenance facility upon the investigation.
In the meantime, Metro riders will be able to use other fleets, which are 2000/3000-series legacy cars and newer 7000-series cars.