Metro News Release
For immediate release: October 28, 2004
Metro details final investigation report into the August 19th pocket track train derailment at the Silver Spring Metrorail station
At today’s Operations and Safety Committee Meeting, Fred Goodine, Metro’s Assistant General Manager for System Safety and Risk Protection announced the probable cause of the derailment of a Metrorail train north of the Silver Spring Metrorail station on August 19, 2004. The combination of the following factors were identified as the probable cause of the derailment:
- dry, unlubricated rail;
- side wear on the switch point;
- close contact of the wheel, on the rail; and
- speed transition at the point of derailment.
- All of these derailments occurred either inside a rail yard on a yard lead track, or a pocket track location, without passengers.
- At the time of each incident, all trains were operating at speeds of 5 to 10 mph, and were negotiating tight curves.
- At the time of each incident, these trains were operating on tracks that were dry and unlubricated. Under certain conditions (dry track, high coefficient of friction at wheel/rail interface, tight curves, speed transition), wheels have a tendency to climb up the rail. Lubrication of the track reduces this tendency.
- Review Metro track standards for acceptable and allowable wear on the tracks at switch points.
- Lubricate all switches that are similar to the switch at which the derailment occurred.
- Move forward with the ongoing program to install guardrails on all switches similar to the type involved in the derailment.
- Monitor all track inspection cycles and receive reports from inspectors for any trends or anomalies.
- Establish a policy to conduct a full wheel/rail interface study for each new series of rail cars that Metro receives.
- Conduct a wheel/rail interface study. This was recently approved by the Board to study current track and rail car standards.
News release issued on October 28, 2004.