Recommended Alternate Service Plan for WMATA Red Line following 1/15/18 Derailment

Due to the derailment of WMATA Red Line Train 106 on the morning of Monday, January 15, 2018, and to accommodate incident investigation and any repair work, Rail Transit OPS Group is recommending to WMATA the following alternate service plan for Red Line service for as long as necessary:

  • Operate Red Line trains at 12 minute headways in two segments: from Shady Grove to Farragut North, and from Glenmont to Union Station
  • Operate a single eight-car “shuttle train” from Union Station to Farragut North via the Shady Grove track (opposite the incident track) with an operator on both ends of the train to minimize turnaround time at Union Station and Farragut North
  • Recommend that passengers on the Glenmont segment that need to access the Blue, Orange, Silver, Yellow, or Green lines transfer at Fort Totten
  • Add several “tripper” Yellow Line trains to originate from Greenbelt during the peak of morning rush hour; similarly, have “tripper” trains go back to Greenbelt during the peak of evening rush hour

We chose Union Station and Farragut North as terminals for the shuttle train in part due to those stations’ center platforms (as opposed to side platforms); riders transferring from Red Line trains originating from Shady Grove or Glenmont to the shuttle train at Farragut North or Union Station, respectively, could conveniently walk straight across the center platform to the shuttle train to continue their trip, as opposed to having to take elevators or escalators to another platform at the same station.

While this service plan reduces the frequency of Red Line trains and may require some riders to transfer twice to access other lines instead of just once, it would eliminate the need for single tracking and thus help minimize delays, allowing WMATA to schedule more consistent service for its customers.


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.