Metro discovered the bolts had corroded on a set of service stairs struck by a Red Line train at Rhode Island Avenue last month, according to the agency's investigation. The problem is being blamed for the June 14th incident, which allowed the stairs to become dislodged and impede the outbound train's path.
"The bolts to secure the stair case corroded... and had moved off its base," said Robert Troup, Deputy General Manager of Operations in his report to WMATA's safety and security committee.
The June 14th incident occurred just before noon, as the train was departing the station. It hit the metal service stairs at the end of the platform, which had come loose. None of the 63 passengers on board was hurt. A signal box and metal railing along the track were damaged in the accident. Passengers were transferred to another train, but the incident caused considerable delays.
As a result of its investigation, Metro inspected all the service stairs in the system for similar problems and has prioritized repairs. The inspections found no issues that required immediate remediation. Troup says station inspection reports will now include a check of the stairs.
The transit agency is also looking at other potential hazards along the right of way on the train tracks, such as hatch doors and tunnel junction boxes that could cause similar issues.