National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a Board meeting on July 27, 2010, to consider a final report on its investigation of the June 22, 2009, fatal accident involving the collision of two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) trains in between the Fort Totten and Takoma stations on the Red Line in Washington, D.C.
The NTSB is currently investigating three additional accidents that occurred on the WMATA Metrorail system between November 2009 and February 2010. These investigations are being conducted simultaneously with the ongoing June 2009 investigation. A brief description of each accident and the status of the NTSB investigations is below. Further updates will be provided as the investigations proceed.
On November 29, 2009, a six-car WMATA train struck the rear of a stopped six-car WMATA train at the West Falls Church Rail Yard in Falls Church, Virginia. No passengers were on either train at the time of the collision, but the operator of the striking train and two cleaning crew employees on the struck train sustained minor injuries.
On January 26, 2010, two WMATA Metrorail automatic train control (ATC) maintenance technicians were struck and fatally injured by a hi-rail vehicle, approximately 0.9 miles north of the Rockville Metro Station on the Red Line. The two employees were replacing an impedance bond on the northbound track. The workers in the hi-rail vehicle were moving their vehicle in preparation for inspecting and replacing third-rail cover boards between the Shady Grove and Rockville stations. While traveling in reverse, the hi- rail vehicle struck and fatally injured the ATC technicians.
On February 12, 2010, WMATA Metrorail train 156 derailed the front set of wheels on the first car near the Farragut North station in Washington, D.C. Train 156 was a six-car train, carrying approximately 300 passengers, traveling on the Red Line segment of the Metrorail system toward the White Flint station.
Investigators have conducted interviews with WMATA employees involved. Investigators have reviewed audiotapes of conversations between the Operations Control Center and involved train operators. Onboard event recorder data has been collected and examined by investigators in the NTSB laboratory. An inspection of mechanical systems (car braking and propulsion) and the train control system found no anomalies. Other items reviewed included observation of power- operated switches at the accident. Issues subject to additional investigation include operator performance and operating procedures.
NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.