The first 7000-series train was back on Metro’s tracks Friday nearly two months after a derailment led the subway system to order the railcars out of service.
The move comes after months of inspections and is part of a gradual return to service laid out by Metro earlier this week.
The system’s newest 7000-series train cars were ordered off the tracks in Oct. following an investigation into a derailment on the Blue Line that revealed a wheel defect.
That move cut Metro’s train fleet by more than half and severely reduced service across the system.
Before the 7000-series trains could return to service, the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission had to sign off on a stepped-up inspection plan for detecting possible wheel issues.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which is still investigating the Oct. derailment, said the wheel defect had turned up on several other trains — and was a problem Metro knew about going back to 2017.
As part of the return to service, Metro says 7000-series cars will have to go under weekly inspection to make sure the wheels haven’t become misaligned.
In the first phase, Metro says it plans to return enough 7000-series to run 42 additional trains. However, reduced rail service is expected through the end of this year.
This morning, the first 7000-series train reentered service under Metro’s new inspection protocols. More 7000-series trains will gradually be put back into service in the coming weeks. #wmata pic.twitter.com/8aockpLMCl
— Metro (@wmata) December 17, 2021
WTOP’s Luke Garrett contributed to this report.
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