Metro returns 1st 7000-series train to service after derailment investigation

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.

WTOP’s Luke Garrett contributed to this report.

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Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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