Collision between Train 700 and Train 755 at Farragut West on October 7, 2019

Preliminary Information and subject to change as Rail Transit OPS continues it independent review into this incident

At about 12:50AM, EDT, on Monday, October 7, 2019 Non-Revenue (carrying no passengers) Train 700, a six car train collided with the rear of Non-Revenue Train 755. Both train operators were transported to the hospital and release, and there was damage to multiple railcars in both trains.

On Monday, October 7, 2019, at 12:50AM EDT, the operator of Train 755 consisting of cars 3141-3140-3121-3120-3206-3207, reported a collision from the rear while holding just outside and west of the platform at Farragut West station, within a minute the Rail Operations Control Center (ROCC) instructed the train following Train 755, Train 700 to stop their train, at which time the operator of Train 700 consisting of cars 3008-3009-3010-3011-3019-3018 reported colliding with the train in front. At 1:02AM DC Fire was dispatched to Farragut West for a medical response (Both train operators reported needing medical assistance within 8 minutes of reporting the collision). At 1:05AM DC Fire dispatched a Metro Box alarm for the collision, however the initial location was given as Foggy Bottom station. Metro Transit Police were notified of the collision at 1:04AM. The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC) is on-site investigating.

As of 6:00PM all twelve rail cars are still at the incident site, and will remain there through closing. Also Rail Transit OPS Group is continuing to review preliminary data that indicates that Train 700 may have reached a speed upwards of 36 – 40 MPH after departing Foggy Bottom, before coming to a stop, then apparently began moving forward without speed authorization at a speed of less than 15 MPH prior to the collision which occurred on a 1.6% incline and at the end of a five hundred foot long right hand curve. Damage to the rail cars was reported as most extensive between the colliding cars of 3008 and 3207, also there was a report of cars 3140 and 3121 pulling apart at the couplers. The last data we have for Train 700 is that at approximately 12:47:10 Train 700 entered the track circuit roughly 500’ prior to the rear of Train 755. Possible factors include loss of situational awareness by the operator of Train 700, possible medical condition experienced by Train 700 including the possibility of fatigue.

Update: Train 755 began departing the incident location at 1:06AM EDT, October 8, 2019 arriving at Brentwood Rail Yard at 1:34AM. Train 700 departed the incident location at 2:48AM with cars 3008-09 being towed by a diesel power unit arriving at Brentwood yard, and six car train 810 dispatched from West Falls Church Yard was utilized to push the trailing four cars of Train 700 (3010-11-3019-18) from the incident location at 3:40AM to Brentwood Yard as well.

Recommendation 1: To WMATA – During the review it was noticed that multiple trains would utilize the same non-revenue ID (i.e. 700) on different lines. Our recommendation is to split the 700 ID block between each line to avoid confusion, such as in the following example: 700-724 – Red Line; 725-744 – Blue Line; 745-769 – Orange Line; 770-779 – Yellow Line; 780-789 – Green Line; 790-799 – Silver Line

About Us: Rail Transit OPS Group provides independent evaluations of rail transit operations, performance, and safety processes as part of its dual mission: monitor and evaluate rail transit operators’ adherence to these processes, and provide additional information during service disruptions. Rail Transit OPS Group business operations are solely funded by individual contributions from the public. To make a contribution visit our Support Page You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @RailTransitOPS.