Broken Rail Had Been Inspected Recently, Metro Safety Official Says

The section of Metro track that failed Monday had been visually inspected three times this month, once in August and once also in October, a rail system official said Tuesday.

Track failure remains the likely cause of Monday’s Metro derailment, but the transit system is examining other causes, said the official, Pat Lavin, Metro’s chief safety officer.

“Based on preliminary evidence collected at the scene the focus still remains on track and infrastructure,” Lavin said.

The area was not subject to Metro’s extensive SafeTrack maintenance program, which lasted much of last year, Lavin said.

The rail has been sent for forensic and metallurgical testing, he said.

The rail car will be studied for mechanical failures, he said.

County Executive Ike Leggett and Council President Hans Riemer both said the derailment was a sign that Metro needed dedicated funding to pay for the extensive maintenance the 40-year-old subway needs. Here are interviews with both county leaders:

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About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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