2017-02-20 WMATA Work Car Derailment Event Report

At approximately 11:17P on Monday, February 20th, a WMATA ballast cart derailed on the inbound track at the Judiciary Square station. Investigation and rerailing activities continued until approximately 7:55A on Tuesday, when the incident track was determined to be revenue-ready, and put back into service.

Prime Mover 49 (PM49) departed Greenbelt Yard headed to the Red Line, through the B&E connector. PM49 was pushing two ballast carts in front.

At approximately 11:17P, the operators of PM49 notified Rail Operations Central Control (ROCC) that they would need to perform a track inspection on track 2 with the unit at Judiciary Square. It was discovered that that the second of two ballast carts being pushed had derailed and was off the tracks. Single-tracking around the derailed unit was declared at around 11:25P and continued through the close of revenue service.

An initial inspection was performed by the WMATA Safety department at around 12:25A once personnel arrived on scene, and continued until around 2:00A.

The lead ballast car was removed away from PM49 by another track unit (PM30), allowing for further investigation of the incident. Work to begin rerailing the cart was allowed to start at around 2:15A once the red tag from the Maintenance Operations Center (MOC) had been obtained.

Work to rerail the ballast cart continued through 4:00A, and it was stated that the incident would not be clear by the time morning revenue service started.

WMATA morning revenue service started at 5:00A, at which time trains continued to single-track from Union Station to Judiciary Square. WMATA Rail Transportation reduced the number of Red Line trains on the line by around half; only 17 trains were seen in active revenue service at 7:19A, of the 41 budgeted.

At 7:24A, PM49 and PM30 began moving at a restricted speed to Brentwood Yard to begin clearing the incident area. A final track inspection was performed and the track at Judiciary Square was restored to normal service at 7:55A.


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