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.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com 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 Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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