Metrorail Service Back to Normal After Sunday Derailment

WASHINGTON – Service on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) was back to normal today, a day after a six-car train derailed near the Mount Vernon Square station.

The Mt. Vernon Square/7th St-Convention Center Metrorail station, which serves the Green and Yellow lines, was closed Sunday, Jan. 7, from 3:46 p.m. to midnight after a Green Line train derailed as it was pulling into the station.

The fifth car (car number 5152) of the six-car Green Line train headed north toward Greenbelt derailed and struck a concrete wall in the tunnel as the train was entering the station. It sustained significant damage. The first car and most of the second car of the train stopped along the platform and the remaining four cars stopped in the tunnel.

About 120 passengers are believed to have been on the train. People who were on the first four cars (car numbers 5024, 5025, 5185 and 5184) exited through the first two cars of the train and onto the station platform.

People in the last two cars (car numbers 5152 and 5153) were escorted off the train via the tracks and catwalks by the emergency responders from the District of Columbia Fire Department. About 20 people were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries; one person suffered a serious injury.

The station was closed for the remainder of the day as free shuttle buses took rail riders around the scene. Nine shuttle buses moved 1,176 customers.

“We are working closely with the National Transportation Safety Board to find out exactly what happened and why,” said Jack Requa, Acting General Manager. The investigation is ongoing at this time. “We are very concerned about this incident and we are focused on doing everything that we can to ensure the safety of our system.”

Metro rail, track and safety officials worked throughout the night to remove the train from the tracks so that the station could reopen this morning for rush hour.

At the time of the derailment, trains were single-tracking between L’Enfant Plaza and Mt. Vernon stations because workers were installing a communication cable along the tunnel wall.

The incident took place at a point in the tracks known as the “interlocking,” which is the portion of track that allows trains to shift from one track to another. The train was shifting to another track to service the station when the wheels of the fifth car popped off the tracks.