Cracked Rail on Orange/Silver Line

At about 8:30AM EDT on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Rail Operations Control Center (ROCC) received an indication of a track circuit failure on the outbound track of the Orange/Silver line between Ballston and East Falls Church stations. Several trains performed visual inspections while traveling outbound.

At about 9:25AM, an Emergency Response Team (ERT) that had been dispatched to the location identified a crack in the rail approximately 4,994 feet east of the end of the platform edge at East Falls Church on the outbound track. Trains began single-tracking at 9:25AM between Ballston and East Falls Church via the inbound track. Single-track operations lasted until approximately 11:05AM.

The interim repair performed involved the installation of a joint bar to hold the two portions of the rail in correct alignment until a permanent repair is completed. A jumper cable was also installed to allow the track circuit to remain operational for transmitting speed commands to trains.


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