Post-derailment Metro inspections prompt major Red Line weekend shutdown

WASHINGTON — Metro will shut down the Red Line north of Grosvenor-Strathmore Saturday and Sunday after new inspections ordered following a derailment last month found issues outside the Twinbrook station that require a complete shutdown to repair.

The repairs at a point where trains switch from one track to the other are in a similar type of area as the location where a Silver Line train derailed near East Falls Church July 29.

The round-the-clock work zone between Twinbrook and Shady Grove is still scheduled to begin as planned Tuesday morning.

However, on Saturday and Sunday, there will be no train service at the Shady Grove, Rockville, Twinbrook or White Flint stations. Metro plans to run shuttle buses to and from those stations instead.

Metro has launched a series of new inspections at key switch points before each 24/7 work zone and a systemwide “supervisory inspection” aimed at identifying any potentially significant safety issues across the system.

The Federal Transit Administration said in its latest scathing findings Monday that Metro has either failed to conduct inspections as scheduled, failed to follow up and act on the findings of those inspections, or both.

The federal agency with temporary safety oversight of Metro also found track inspectors are not properly trained, do not get enough time on the tracks and do not properly communicate with maintenance workers.

Metro has promised to increase inspections to match its own internal standards.

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