Washington, D.C.: Federal Transit Administration finds tracks in ‘black condition’ but Metro routinely reclassifies them, keeping them in service

For three consecutive months, federal inspectors warned of deteriorating rail ties at Metro’s Braddock Road crossover, a “black-level” defect that calls for tracks be taken out of service, but Metro continued to run Blue and Yellow line trains over the segment as conditions persisted, according to inspection reports from the Federal Transit Administration.

“Only five non-defective ties were observed within 40 feet at [the interlocking]. Black condition,” an FTA inspector wrote Sept. 19, 2017. “Only five non-defective ties were observed within a 40-foot segment of track at [the interlocking]. Black Condition,” an Oct. 12 report noted.

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