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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Train near the Mt. Vernon Square Station

Executive Summary

On January 7, 2007, about 3:45 p.m. eastern standard time, northbound Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metrorail train 504 derailed one car as the train traversed a crossover from track 2 to track 1. The accident occurred in an underground tunnel on the Metrorail Green Line near the Mt. Vernon Square 7th Street-Convention Center (Mt. Vernon Square) station at chain marker E2 23+28. The train was traveling about 18 mph as it approached the station.

The train consisted of six cars. The fifth car from the head end of the train derailed. About 80 passengers were on board at the time of the accident. Twenty-three passengers were transported to local hospitals for treatment and released. Emergency response personnel from Washington, D.C., provided the on-scene treatment and transportation of the injured passengers.​

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the January 7, 2007, derailment of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority train 504 as it traversed a standard turnout track near the Mt. Vernon Square station in Washington, D.C., was a wheel climb on car 5152 that was initiated by a rough wheel surface created when the wheel was trued with a milling machine, the lack of quality control measures to ensure that wheel surfaces were smoothed after truing, the lack of a guard rail on the No. 8 turnout, and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's failure to have an effective process to implement safety improvements identified following similar accidents and related research projects.​

Accident Location: Washington , DC    
Accident Date: 1/7/2007
Accident ID: DCA07FR005

Date Adopted: 10/16/2007
NTSB Number: RAR-07-03
NTIS Number: