Train derailment shuts down part of Red Line

Crews pulled what appeared to be a train involved in Friday's Metro derailment along the Red Line tracks through the Rhode Island station, while passengers tried to board shuttle buses. (The Washington Post)

Updates: The latest on the Red Line train derailment

Red Line train service between the Fort Totten and NoMa-Gallaudet stations is shut down until further notice after an overnight derailment of an empty Metro train between the Rhode Island Avenue and Brookland stations.

Riders are using shuttle buses to travel between Fort Totten and Brookland and should expect delays of about 40 minutes, officials said. Riders on other parts of the Red Line should expect delays of up to 10 minutes.

Metro said there are 20 shuttle buses in service between  Fort Totten and NoMa-Gallaudet. There were no crowds as shuttle buses rolled in around 8 a.m., but many riders said they were frustrated and others confused as to where to go.

According to agency officials, it will be at least several hours before normal service can be restored. The damaged track must be repaired and then inspected before trains can run in that area again.

A disabled train at the Grosvenor station, on the other end of the Red Line, compounded the problem, causing additional delays for riders heading downtown.

The derailment near the Rhode Island Avenue station involved a “non-revenue train” that went off the tracks around midnight, as it was being moved from one railyard to another, according to Metro. There were no passengers aboard, and no one was injured.

 

 

The incident caused damage to track equipment, including the third rail, signal cables and track components, in the area of Rhode Island Avenue station, the agency said.

Metro provided the following service information:

  • Between Shady Grove and NoMa-Gallaudet, trains will operate every 5 to 10 minutes during the morning rush hour.
  • Between Glenmont and Fort Totten, trains will operate every 10 to 15 minutes during the morning rush hour.
  • Riders are strongly encouraged to use the Green Line as an alternate route between Fort Totten and Gallery Place (Downtown D.C.). Passengers arriving via Red Line trains at Fort Totten should transfer to Green Line trains on the lower level.
  • Limited shuttle bus service will be available between Fort Totten, Brookland, Rhode Island Ave and NoMa-Gallaudet stations. Passengers using shuttle bus service should expect significantly longer travel times.
  • Regular route Metrobus service may be an option for some riders. To check, use Metro’s Trip Planner and select the “bus only” option.

This is not the first train derailment to affect this portion of the Red Line. In April, an out-of-service Red Line train derailed between the NoMa-Gallaudet and Rhode Island Avenue stations as it was leaving the Brentwood rail yard.

Metro officials blamed that incident on several factors, citing a “stiff” new wheel, a curved section of track, the train’s slow rate of speed, and dry conditions. Officials tried to assure Metro’s board of directors that a similar incident was unlikely to happen on the main line tracks that carry passengers.

The cause of Friday’s derailment is under investigation.

The area where the derailment occurred is scheduled to be out of service starting at 10 p.m. Friday through the Labor Day weekend, for rebuilding work.

Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.

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Mark Berman · August 29, 2013

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