- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 31, 2016

A portion of Metro’s Orange and Silver lines remained closed through Sunday to allow for repairs and a continuing investigation into a subway train derailment Friday morning that injured one person.

The derailment occurred about 6:15 a.m. Friday when an outbound Silver Line train jumped the tracks as it approached the East Falls Church station. The incident shut down service for nearly three days between West Falls Church/McLean and Ballston stations.

About 75 passengers aboard were evacuated. One man was taken to a hospital after hitting his head when the cars derailed about 100 feet from the platform, according to Metro.

At a Friday afternoon press conference, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the cause of the accident was under investigation, and it wasn’t clear when the portion of the two lines would reopen.

As of Sunday, no explanation had been given for why or how the train jumped the tracks.

“Let us get through tonight, see where we are tomorrow, and we can be better judges,” Mr. Wiedefeld told reporters. “Like everyone else, we’re frustrated and want this fixed as quickly as we can.”

Mr. Wiedefeld said he also had directed that a third-party expert be brought to the scene to conduct a parallel, independent review of the incident and its possible causes.

The derailment did not occur in an area where crews were doing work as part of the transit agency’s “SafeTrack” maintenance project, but it did cause significant damage to the portion of the tracks that switches trains between the two stations.

Late Friday workers used cranes and rerailing machines to remove the derailed cars from the tracks. Once the cars were removed, Metro found that the derailment caused a portion of track to shift, resulting in damage to the interlocking tracks and other rail infrastructure.

Metro worked around the clock through the weekend to repair the damage, which included replacing about 200 feet of running rail, rebuilding 150 feet of electrified third rail, replacing two track crossings at the interlocking and removing and replacing about 200 wooden crossties that hold the rails in place.

As Metro finishes those repairs, it will conduct several tests to ensure the work was done properly as well as run test trains over that portion of the track before restoring service.

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