WASHINGTON — The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has completed the inspection of their 7000-series train cars after a derailment, which the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said could have been "catastrophic."
WMATA spokesman Ian Jannetta said in a press briefing Tuesday all 748 7000-series train cars have been inspected. Twenty axles were found to be out of alignment during the inspection, according to Jannetta.
Jannetta explained that WMATA is submitting a testing plan to the Washington Metro Safety Commission for review and approval. He said the plan is the next step to getting the trains back into service.
In an announcement earlier this week, Metro said older trains would be pulled out of storage and put back into service in hopes of operating in a way that will meet ridership needs and avoid over-crowding.
However, the 32 2000-series and 3000-series cars are still at Shady Grove due to logistical issues, according to Jannetta. Metro crews are working to clear a track in order to get the cars out and inspected as safely as possible.
The investigation into the train cars started after a Blue Line train derailed in a tunnel north of the Arlington Cemetery Metro stop on Oct. 12.
NTSB said investigators found broken sections of the brake disks along the route the Blue Line took that day, which led them to believe the train derailed and rerailed several times between Franconia, Largo and Arlington Cemetery.
Metro will continue to run on a reduced schedule until Oct. 31.