WMATA Selects Hitachi Rail for 8000-Series CarsWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
The Washington Post is reporting that the Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is in negotiations with Hitachi Rail to build 256 8000-Series rapid transit cars, with an option to purchase up to 800.
The contract is potentially worth $1 billion “with incentives to create an assembly plant in the Mid-Atlantic and hundreds of permanent jobs in the region, the transit agency confirmed Tuesday” to the The Post.
In 2018, Metro issued a Request for Proposals for the design and construction of hundreds of new 8000-Series cars to be delivered starting in 2024.
Railway Age reported that the agency planned to acquire at least 256 8000-Series cars and retire its 2000- and 3000-Series cars at the end of their 40-year service life.
Options in the contract would allow Metro to purchase up to 800 cars in all, giving the agency the flexibility to support a range of initiatives and scenarios, including expanding all trains to the maximum eight-car length, running trains more frequently during rush hours, and retiring the 6000-Series fleet in lieu of a midlife overhaul program.
The 8000-Series procurement, Railway Age noted, would build on the success of Metro’s 7000-Series cars, which account for more than half of all trains in service and include popular features such as digital information screens, automated announcements, “smart doors” that individually respond to an obstruction, high-definition security cameras, more space between seats, wider aisles, and non-slip flooring rather than carpet.
The 7000-Series cars were built by Kawasaki Rail Car USA.