Faulty wheel blamed for CSX train derailment in DC

WASHINGTON — A new report from CSX blames a faulty wheel for a train derailment that sent more than a dozen train cars off the tracks earlier this year in Northeast D.C.

CSX’s determination was included in an accident report that has been filed with the Federal Railroad Administration, Rob Doolittle, a company spokesman, confirmed to WTOP.

The company’s report shows the derailment was caused by a failure in a portion of an axle on the first car that went off the tracks, Dolittle said.

The railroad administration is continuing to investigate the derailment.

Fourteen of the train’s 175 cars derailed near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station in May. The CSX tracks were shut down for three days, disrupting service on MARC and Amtrak.

One of the train cars leaked hundreds of gallons of sodium hydroxide, a hazardous chemical. Other cars leaked nonhazardous substances, such as calcium chloride and ethanol.

The Washington Post obtained the accident report and first reported on its findings.

Doolittle said the faulty wheel is being analyzed to determine what may have caused the axle to break. Doolittle said the portion of the axle that failed would not typically undergo visual or mechanical inspection.

“Safety is CSX’s highest priority and we want to take anything we can learn from this incident and apply it to our operations to try to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” Doolittle said.

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