ARLINGTON, Va. (DC News Now) — A train derailment near Reagan National Airport last week prompted Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) officials to probe whether the railcars built in the 1980s meet the standards to be in service.
Metro officials revealed that they found 32 railcars with loose bolts out of 102 inspected, causing them to remove all 2000 and 3000-series railcars from serving passengers to and from the airport.
Last Friday’s derailment of the Blue and Yellow lines have caused some delays as workers look to fix the tracks damaged due to the incident. No passengers were hurt, officials said.
The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, which investigates all incidents with Metro, is currently looking into the derailment.
Jacob Walker, who took the Metro to fly out of Reagan Airport on Monday, said he felt comfortable traveling in the railcars.
“Ultimately, I’m not super concerned. I normally put a fair amount of trust in Metro and public transportation around here,” Walker said. “I had a slight delay at Gallery Place, but only for like five minutes or so but other than that the ride was smooth.”
Metro officials said crews are working around the clock to repair the tracks approaching the airport. Video provided by Metro showed the train running over the loose disc break on the track.
“I’ve never personally experienced issues but of course, it’s important that everyone is able to get to their location safely,” Walker said.
Max Smith, a spokesman for the Metrorail Safety Commission, said the investigation on their end could take a few months.
“We’re still gathering, analyzing additional information that may be relevant to the whole goal here, which is to identify ways Metrorail can reduce the risk that something like this happens again,” he said.
Smith said that officials are “monitoring these special checks that Metro Rail staff are doing of the 2003 series to take an initial look at some of the brake discs and the conditions of how those are on the trains.”
Larry Watkins said he feels safe riding the Metro to and from the airport.
“I’ve ridden the trains since they first came out in 1970,” Watkins said. “I’m pretty sure it’s probably safer than the airlines.”