Metro: Train might have run red signal

WASHINGTON — A Metro train might have run a red signal at the Reagan National Airport Station on Wednesday morning, Metro officials said — a potential incident that would add to the dozens of times Metro trains have run red lights in recent years.

In this case, the northbound Yellow Line train was approaching the station around 9 a.m. when Metro said in a statement that controllers in the Rail Operations Control Center received automated alerts that the train had gone beyond the end of the platform and passed a red signal before stopping.

Metro said the train was moving slowly at the time, no one was injured and there was no damage.

Because there are no trains running between Reagan National Airport and Pentagon City during track repairs in the area, no other trains were ahead of the Yellow Line train.

Passengers exited through the rear cars of the train to access the platform.

Under standard procedures, the train operator has been removed from service while the incident is investigated.

Last week, a “near miss” sent track inspectors diving out of the way of an oncoming train that nearly collided with a second train. The first train had run a red signal, Metro determined.

In that case, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld told employees the train operator was fired even though it had been the operator’s first red light violation. The train operator has the right to appeal that decision.

Metro has promised to do more to reduce the number of trains that run red signals since it began receiving more warnings from the Federal Transit Administration that the “trend line has been going in the wrong direction.”

The transit administration is currently serving as Metro’s safety watchdog until a regional version can be created and staffed.

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