Metro train braking system catches fire on Red Line

Thursday, October 22, 2009; 9:48 PM

The braking system of a Metro train with no passengers aboard caught fire Thursday night on the Red Line in Rockville, authorities said.

No injuries were reported after the incident at the Rockville station about 8:15 p.m., said Lisa Farbstein, a Metro spokeswoman. An outbound train reported a problem with the brakes minutes before the fire, and passengers were offloaded at the Twinbrook station, she said.

The train then headed to the Shady Grove rail yard for repairs, but smoke appeared while en route and the empty train was stopped at the Rockville station, Farbstein said. Firefighters responded and determined that a small fire in the braking system burned itself out, but produced a lot of smoke.

Metro officials diverted other trains to a single track around the incident and service was not stopped, Farbstein said. Officials believe the malfunctioning brakes caused the small fire.

The incident was not expected to affect the morning commute.

-- Clarence Williams

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