WASHINGTON - One passenger was injured Friday after a Metro Silver Line train line derailed near the East Falls Church station causing major disruptions for morning commuters. The derailment happened around 6:15 a.m. near the platform at the East Falls Church station.
Metro Transit Police and Arlington County fire personnel off-loaded 60 passengers on the train and escorted them to the platform at the Metro station after the derailment. A man onboard the train suffered a head injury that was non-life-threatening.
Metro said two cars of the six-car train derailed just east of the East Falls Church station while it was moving from one track to another at a switch point. The derailment location is not part of the current or prior SafeTrack work. The cause of the derailment has not been determined.
Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said he has brought in an outside expert to investigate the derailment. He also said the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Transit Administration are also assisting Metro.
The derailment had a major impact on service along the Orange and Silver lines throughout the day. Metro has suspended service from Ballston to West Falls Church and Ballston to McLean through Saturday to investigate the accident and to make repairs.
Shuttle buses were put into place to move passengers along these areas. For shuttle bus service information, click here.
Wiedefeld defended the decision to keep the affected stations closed.
“We are going to do this right and so that will take some time,” he said. “So I understand that and I would love to get it up. Again, safety has to trump service.”
A large crane was used to removed the two damaged cars Friday afternoon and a diesel mover was used to pushed the remaining part of the train back into the station.
Throughout the morning rush, Metro encouraged Orange and Silver Line passengers to use alternate travel options while the derailment was addressed. Red, Yellow and Green Line trains were also experiencing unrelated delays Friday morning due to malfunctions along the track and disabled trains.
There have been 13 National Transportation Safety Board investigations of Metrorail since the system opened in the mid-1970s, said WAMU transportation reporter and FOX 5 contributor Martin Di Caro, who suspects another will be opened due to this incident.