RAILROAD Accident Report

Collision of Washington Metropolitan
Area Transit Authority Train T-111
With Standing Train at Shady Grove Passenger Station
Gaithersburg, Maryland
January 6, 1996

NTSB Number RAR-96/04
NTIS Number PB96-916304
PDF Document (1.8M)


Abstract: On January 6, 1996, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail subway train No. T-111 failed to come to a stop at the above-ground Shady Grove, Maryland, passenger station, the final station on the Metrorail Red Line. The four-car train ran by the station platform and continued about 470 feet into the Metrorail yard north of the station, where it struck a standing, unoccupied subway train that was awaiting assignment. The operator of train T-111 was fatally injured; the trainís two passengers were not injured. Total property damages were estimated to be between $2.1 and $2.6 million. The safety issues discussed in this report are adequacy and appropriateness of WMATA methods of management, decisionmaking, and communication; safety implications of the decision to eliminate routine manual train operation on the Metrorail system; effectiveness of using performance levels to control train speed; compatibility between railcar braking performance and design of the automatic train control system; and adequacy of WMATA and Montgomery County emergency response procedures. As a result of its investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board issued recommendations to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the Federal Transit Administration, the American Public Transit Association, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Commission, and all jurisdictions providing primary and secondary response to Metrorail accidents or incidents.