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Rail News: Safety

WMATA Silver Line train derails


A Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Silver Line train derailed July 29 near the East Falls Church Station in Arlington, Va.

The incident occurred as the train was moving from one track to another at a switch point. After the two derailed cars were removed from the scene, it was determined that the derailment caused a portion of the track to shift, which damaged the interlocking tracks and other infrastructure, WMATA officials said in a press release.

One passenger was transported to a local hospital for a non-life-threatening head injury. WMATA police and the Arlington County Fire Department safely escorted about 60 other passengers to the platform, agency officials said.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation; no preliminary cause has been determined.

While crews made necessary repairs, service remained suspended on a portion of the Silver and Orange lines through July 31. Repairs included replacing 200 feet of running rail, rebuilding 150 feet of third rail, replacing two track crossings at the interlocking and removal and replacement of 200 wood ties.

Normal service resumed early this morning, WMATA officials said on Twitter.

The derailment comes as WMATA continues to advance its "SafeTrack" accelerated maintenance plan, which crams three years' worth of repairs into one year. The location of the incident was not part of a SafeTrack work zone, however.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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