Image by Robina licensed under Creative Commons.

Metro has temporarily removed all 3000-series railcars from service after receiving “a report of a door malfunction for which we need to identify the cause.” A video posted by rider Claudia Sol on Facebook, which may have triggered this, showed a door on a 3000-series car stayed open while the train was moving on Sunday.

While the railcars are out of service, tweets from Metro say the Grosvenor turnback is back in effect: some trains leaving Glenmont will turn back at Grosvenor instead of continuing to Shady Grove. In addition to shortening some eight-car trains so they’re only six cars in length, Metro is making “every effort” to keep trains running as frequently as usual, according to the tweets.

This incident appears to be unrelated to other prior events in which the train operator opened doors on the wrong side of the train. The video posted online in a closed Facebook group shows one of the 12 door leafs on a 3000-series car swinging open while the train appears to have been accelerating down the platform leaving the Dunn Loring station on the Orange Line. The video was reportedly taken on Sunday.

A safety feature on Metro trains is supposed to prevent doors on a train from opening while the train is moving. A light in the train operator’s cab also tells whether the train detects if all doors are closed or not.

It takes around 900 railcars on a normal weekday to operate morning and evening rush hour, and Metro has approximately 1188 in service between the 2000, 3000, 6000, and 7000-series cars. When the 3000-series cars are removed, there are only approximately 906 railcars total in service; this doesn’t include cars that are out for maintenance for scheduled or unscheduled work, which likely reduces the number of cars available to run rail service.

As of 8:00 am Tuesday there were approximately 92 trains in service versus 104 scheduled.

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Stephen Repetski is a Virginia native and has lived in the Fairfax area for over 20 years. He has a BS in Applied Networking and Systems Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology and works in Information Technology. Learning about, discussing, and analyzing transit (especially planes and trains) is a hobby he enjoys.