Metro workers suspended after extra-long 10-car train rode the rails

Adam Tuss,

WASHINGTON — A recent Metro train that rode throughout the system defied regulations by attaching two cars more than the maximum of eight, resulting in serious disciplinary action against the employees who didn’t notice.

Metro’s Board of Directors is expected to get a briefing on the safety incident during a board meeting on Thursday.

The extra long train rolled along the entire length of the Red Line, leaving from Shady Grove around 2:15 p.m. on Dec. 2, and ending up at Glenmont. It wasn’t until the train pulled into the Glenmont rail yard that a Metro employee noticed the issue.

“Strong disciplinary action was taken against the three employees responsible: the train operator, an interlocking operator and the terminal supervisor,” Metro spokesperson Dan Stessel wrote in an email.

He could not specify what type of disciplinary action was handed out, but said it included unpaid suspensions and disqualification from certain positions.

Extra-long Metro trains cause problems at platforms, which are designed to handle a max of eight rail cars. That means the final two rail cars of this train were either in tunnels when the train pulled into a station, or were left hanging over open tracks.

Stessel says no passengers made their way onto the last two rail cars of the 10 car train.

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