Metro Sidelines 6000-Series Railcars Following Separation Accident

For the second time in two months, metro cars separated, causing Metro to temporarily sideline its fleet of 6000-series railcars.

On Tuesday at 1 p.m., an eight-car Red Line train had just departed Glenmont Station and was heading to the Wheaton Station when it reported mechanical trouble, according to a release from Metro. The train operator checked for mechanical trouble and discovered that the first and last four cars had separated from each other. Metro reported that there were no injuries among the 12 passengers who were on the train.

According to Metro, a train is designed to engage its full emergency brakes when cars separate. “All indications are that those safety-related features worked as intended,” Metro reported.

The 6000-cars will not be used “for an indefinite period of time while an investigation is underway,” Metro reported. Meanwhile, Metro will use its 2000/3000-series legacy cars and newer 7000-series cars, which currently comprise more than half of the train cars in Metro’s fleet.

“The impact to customers of today’s safety action is expected to be minimal,” Metro reported Tuesday.

A similar incident occurred in October when two cars on the Red Line detached from a train outside Union Station. According to Metro, the point of separation occurred at the train’s coupler, and that investigation is ongoing.

Following the Nov. 24 incident, third-rail power was taken down temporarily so that firefighters could help the passengers safely back to the station.

Metro began using the 6000-series fleet in 2006 and had 184 cars delivered over the next three years. Those cars are considered in midlife and are expected to last 40 years.

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