WASHINGTON — 7000-Series metro cars have been pulled from service less than two weeks after the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) began using them again.
On December 14, WMATA announced plans to gradually return the 7000-series cars back to service. Officials said no more than 336 railcars would return to service in a "metered release." No more cars would be added for another 90 days until new inspection cycles were established and any adjustments were made under WMSC oversight.
According to a release from the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC), the railcars were pulled Wednesday after an issue was found with at least five of the 70 cars.
WMSC Spokesperson Max Smith said the commission issued an order requiring revisions to Metrorail's return to service plan before any of the 7000-series cars can be returned to passenger service.
The NTSB found defects in several of the 7000 series railcars while investigating the derailment of a Blue Line railcar (train 407) on Oct. 12. During that incident, almost 200 people were safely evacuated from a derailed Metro Blue Line train near Arlington Cemetery.
While investigating the derailment, NTSB found that an axle of the railcar that derailed was "out of compliance with the 7000 Series specifications for the wheel and axle assembly," according to an order issued by the Washington Metro Safety Commission (WMSC).