The Friday morning derailment of a Reston-bound Silver Line train near East Falls Church will continue to impact Metro into Saturday, Metro officials said.
Metro says Orange and Silver service between West Falls Church/McLean and Ballston stations will remain suspended at least through the end of the day Saturday to allow for further investigation, removal of derailed cars, and repairs to infrastructure that was damaged during the incident.
Customers traveling to or from stations west of Ballston are encouraged to use alternate travel modes if possible, Metro said. Metro will continue to provide free shuttle buses between Ballston, East Falls Church, West Falls Church and McLean stations until rail service is restored.
Here is what you need to know if you are commuting by Orange and Silver Friday afternoon:
- Orange Line runs every 12 minutes in two segments: between Vienna and West Falls Church, and between Ballston and New Carrollton
- Silver Line runs every 12 minutes in two segments: between Wiehle-Reston East and McLean, and between Ballston and Largo Town Center
- Riders traveling from DC to stations west of Ballston should board the first Orange or Silver line train with available space, regardless of the line color, as all trains will end at Ballston.
More from Metro:
Due to the location of the incident — a narrow area within the median of I-66 — as well as the damage to railcars, track and third-rail infrastructure, Metro is bringing in specialized equipment, including cranes and re-railing machines, to safely clear the scene without causing additional damage. Only after the railcars are moved from the scene will Metro be able to fully assess the scope of track and switch infrastructure that must be replaced.
In addition, Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld has directed that a third-party expert be brought to the scene to conduct a parallel, independent review of the incident and possible causes.
At approximately 6:15 a.m., two cars of a six-car Silver Line train derailed just east of East Falls Church station as the train was moving from one track to the other track at a switch point. The cars of the train remained upright and in-line.
The train was traveling in the direction of Wiehle-Reston East Station and was on approach to East Falls Church Station when the derailment occurred.
The location of the derailment is not part of the current SafeTrack work zone, nor was the area worked on during previous SafeTrack work.
The cause of the derailment is under investigation. No preliminary cause has yet been determined.
Metro Transit Police and Arlington County Fire safely assisted approximately 60 passengers to the platform. Arlington County Police and Virginia State Police also responded and provided support, including traffic management.
There was one reported injury: an adult male who was transported for treatment of a non-life-threatening head injury.
Photo: Derailment near East Falls Church/Credit: VDOT