"Metro is beginning the multi-year process of acquiring our next railcar fleet."
The Washington Metro has announced that it will begin a programme to replace its oldest fleet of trains from 2024, when the operator’s 2000- and 3000-series cars will reach their 40-year service life. Calling for proposals from manufacturers by late January, the order for what will be its 8000-series will be for a minimum of 256 train cars. There is the option of trebling it to 800 should they be required and the contract is likely to be awarded late next year.
When the order is completed, Washington Metro will be able to up its capacity by increasing the number of train cars to eight, schedule more trains during busy rush hours and also retire the 6000-series trains while they undergo essential maintenance. The 7000-series railcars are still in the process of being introduced, with the 748th and final car expected to be delivered late next year.
With the overhaul the operator will introduce more of the modern facilities that passengers are growing to expect, building on the success of the 7000-series train that comprises around half of its fleet – with digital information screens, automated announcements and reactive doors that respond to obstructions. Washington Metro will also presumably look to improve its reliability record with the new trains; the 7000 is reportedly more than twice as reliable of its legacy fleet, travelling an average of 156,000 miles before experiencing a delay.
According to Washington Metro @wmata, 8000-series car design will incorporate the 7000-series’ most advanced safety technology and also include:
- new revenue-generating digital advertising screens
- support for remote PA announcements from its control centre and train-operator
- dynamic digital system maps
- 110v electronic device charge points.
“Today Metro is beginning the multi-year process of acquiring our next railcar fleet, which will take everything our customers love about 7000-series trains and build upon that success," said Metro chief executive officer Paul J. Wiedefeld.
Washington D.C. will be the location of SmartRail 2019, taking place in March 2019. For more information on the show that will bring together more than 250 attendees and more than 60 speakers on how to ensure mission-critical safety across the rail and transit network, visit the show website.
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