Metro: Red Line crash cost $25.5 million in damages

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Local,Transportation,Kytja Weir

Metro's deadly June 22 Red Line crash cost the transit agency $25.5 million by destroying rail cars and damaging track, according to a Metro memo.

The detailed costs submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation are the first public outline of how much physical damage occurred when one train slammed into a stopped train near Fort Totten, killing nine people, injuring dozens more and causing months of delays along the Red Line.

The memo says four rail cars were destroyed at a cost of $12 million, while the other cars involved had $3 million worth of damage.

Metro spent another $3 million to run shuttle buses when that section of track was closed. Other costs came in for maintenance and cleanup, police security of the accident scene, and overtime.

Metro is trying to recoup about $24 million through its property insurance and has said it plans to hire a forensic accountant to develop its claim.

But officials acknowledge they are on the hook for at least $1.5 million in uninsured track structure work and system maintenance associated with the crash. The agency also has a $1 million deductible to pay.

The damage estimates do not include the legal fees from lawsuits that have continued to mount against Metro and its rail equipment manufacturers. Much of those legal costs should be covered by insurance, as well, but the agency has a $5 million deductible for each accident.

The transit agency has incurred other secondary costs from the deadly accident, including a fall in on-time performance that may be one of the factors causing a drop on ridership. Fewer riders means less fare money coming into the agency, prompting Metro officials to start charging a temporary 10-cent surcharge on all fares to make up for the shortfall.

NTSB officials had asked the transit agency for the breakdown of damages during three days of hearings into the accident last month.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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