Transportation Experts On 2009 D.C. Metro Crash

Train stationFederal investigators say that negligent safety attitudes and a defective electronic circuit caused last year’s Washington, D.C. metro crash, which killed nine people.   On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that it had completed the investigation into the collision between two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) trains. It has cited the WMATA for a failure of track circuit modules and a failure to use a verification test that would have detected the failed circuit and prevented the metro subway accident.

According to transportation experts at the NTSB, failed track circuit modules caused the automatic train control (ATC) to lose detection of train 214 at about 5 p.m. on June 22, 2009, near Fort Totten station. That allowed train 112, operated by McMillan, to strike the train from the rear. The rear car of train 214 telescoped about 63 feet into the lead car of McMillan’s train. McMillan was stationed at the very front of the lead car. All of the fatalities involved passengers onboard McMillan’s train.

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