Preliminary Statement on Unauthorized WMATA Door Operation on January 24, 2017

On Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at about 5:02PM EST, Yellow Line Train 312 operating en route to Huntington station experienced an unauthorized door operation while stopped in approach to Ronald Reagan National Airport station (C10/42). Doors were reportedly open for approximately 5 seconds on the left side of the train before closing again.

Train 312 serviced National Airport and continued in passenger service to Huntington and reversed back in the direction of Mt. Vernon Sq. It was removed from service at King St at about 5:20 PM and taken to Alexandria Yard. WMATA is investigating the cause of the door operation.

Rail Transit OPS has identified potential loss of situational awareness by the train operator for failing to notice the loss of an all doors closed indication[1] within the cab. A train backup in the vicinity due to speed restrictions south of the Airport may be a contributing factor.

Also of concern is the fact that Train 312 was not removed from service at National Airport or Braddock Rd, but in fact continued on to service Braddock Rd, King St (both stations where ROCC controllers requested visual inspection of Train 312), Eisenhower Av, and Huntington before reversing back toward Mt. Vernon Sq.


This is a preliminary statement and subject to change.

  1. The train operator’s cab displays two illuminated indications that denotes whether all doors on the train are closed.  If all doors on the train are not detected to be closed, the indications will go dark.


Rail Transit OPS Group is an independent, publicly-funded group that monitors rail transit operations, performance, and safety procedures to proactively address potential issues. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.