Fire EMS

DC Metro Train Accident Poses Access Challenges

Issue 9 and Volume 162.

By Kevin Sloan Shortly after 1700 hours on June 22, 2009, a Metro Station Box was sounded for the report of a train derailment at the Takoma Park Station. This is not an unusual incident for a large metro-area transit system slightly more than 30 years old, and the District of Columbia Fire/EMS Department (DCFD) responds to a variety of incidents involving the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) subway system and its millions of riders annually. The system consists of surface, subsurface, and aerial stations with connecting service yards and large maintenance facilities. The tracks run in secured right-of-ways that are either dedicated or shared with commercial rail right-of-ways that run along one side or both sides of the Metro rails. The trains are powered by an electrified third rail carrying 750 volts of direct current. Each train consists of three “married pairs,” or six individual cars, for a…

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