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A Metro track machine known as a “spiker” derailed shortly after midnight on Tuesday morning along the segment of the Orange and Silver lines currently being fixed as part of the transit agency’s yearlong SafeTrack maintenance plan.
In a release, Metro says the 21 x 10 feet spiker went off the rails between the Ballston and East Falls Church stations in Virginia, but there were no injuries or impacts to service this morning. The machine installs spikes into wooden ties to keep rails in place. Metro says its operator as well as other employees “have been temporarily removed from service” while an investigation into the incident occurs; maintenance repairs in the area were suspended after the derailment.
“A passing Silver Line train that was in the area at the time reported possibly making contact to the mirror of the track equipment,” the release explains. “That train was stopped, inspected, deemed safe and continued to East Falls Church, where passengers were transferred to a different train to continue their trip.”
A spokesperson for the transit agency says the spiker didn’t turn on its side, adding that the incident will not affect the larger schedule of SafeTrack. The plan calls for the surge now underway to finish on Thursday. Then, the first surge in the District proper will take place from the Eastern Market to Minnesota Avenue stations beginning on Saturday. It will result in the closure of that segment of Orange, Blue, and Silver line track, and it’s expected to last for a total 16 days.