Recent derailment reminiscent of Bethesda double derailment several years ago

The most recent derailment reminds me of the double derailment at Bethesda several years ago.

The hardware that secures the rail in that area is Pandrol clips. (

According to my coworkers, they found that approximately 20 feet of rail had badly corroded or misssing Pandrol clips due to water leakage in the tunnel. They reported this dangerous condition twice, and twice the ‘ticket’ was closed without so much as an inspection.

About two weeks after their last report, the rail broke free under a train and it derailed. Apparently no one thought to investigate the cause of the derailment so when the rescue train was sent from Shady Grove, it derailed also. Then two additional rescue trains had to be dispatched — one from each direction.

Luckily, no one was hurt.

All of that could have been avoided had my coworkers been taken seriously.

That was (and I assume still is) a serious problem when I was an active employee — more often than not, when we reported problems — whether it was with track equipment or security issues or HVAC equipment — we were ignored.  Work orders were routinely closed without any work being done.

It was very frustrating, and sometimes dangerous.

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