Metro is investigating a derailment of a piece of track equipment in the work zone between Ballston and East Falls Church stations that occurred shortly after midnight Tuesday. There were no injuries.
The derailment may have been caused by a passing Silver Line train, Metro says.
There is equipment on the tracks because of Metro’s SafeTrack project, the first phase of which began June 4 and will continue on the Silver, Blue and Orange lines until later this week. Metro plans 15 “Safety Surges” over the next 10 months to do necessary repairs.
The track machine that derailed is described as a “spiker,” measuring approximately 21 feet long by 10 feet wide, that is used to install new rail spikes into wooden ties to hold the rail in place. The derailment was reported at approximately 12:05 a.m.
A passing Silver Line train that was in the area at the time reported possibly making contact to the mirror of the track equipment. That train was stopped, inspected, deemed safe and continued to East Falls Church, where passengers were transferred to a different train to continue their trip.
The operator of the track equipment, as well as other employees directly involved, have been temporarily removed from service during the investigation. In addition, overnight work in the area was suspended to allow for a safety review.
The incident did not affect passenger service on Tuesday morning.
Silver Line trains/file photo