- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 23, 2009

The malfunctioning circuit that investigators are examining in connection with a deadly June 22 Metro train crash had been failing intermittently since December 2007, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday.

A component of the track circuit, which is part of a system that monitors the location of trains in the system, was replaced 19 months ago and had been experiencing problems periodically since, the NTSB said, citing Metro maintenance logs.

The investigation already had determined that a similar component on the other end of the same circuit had been replaced five days before the crash, which killed nine people and injured dozens more.

Investigators said they have requested 18 months of “trouble tickets” to determine whether the problems had been reported and that they were seeking additional records that would indicate whether any train operators voiced concern about similar problems.

After the accident, Metro officials began reviewing operations data and identified some problems with other circuits. The NTSB said investigators and Metro officials are looking at the problems to determine if they are the same kinds of problems as were found at the accident site.

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