As previously reported in these blogs, the last car of Train 703 in the 2004 crash sustained damage vastly disproportionate to the damage sustained by the lead car of Train 105. A fundamental flaw in the crashworthiness of the structural design of the 1000-series car body was discovered by the NTSB. In the 2004 crash, the last rail car of Train 703 telescoped and overrode the leading end of the first rail car of Train 105, sustaining a catastrophic loss of approximately 34 feet of survival space in the passenger compartment. However, the collision post of the lead car of Train 105 remained intact, and the operator’s cab was not compromised.
In 2009, a similar “telescoping and overriding” of one train’s car over the car of another train took place. In short, the Woodley Park collision was a precursor to the 2009 collision. The 2009 catastroph e was totally avoidable and should never have caused the injuries and deaths that took place.