Metro signs deal for new railcars

Metro has begun the process of building a new series of railcars.

Metro said in a statement Wednesday that it had awarded a contract to Hitachi Rail to make at least 256 8000-series railcars, though that number could grow to 800. The contract could be worth up to $2.2 billion.

The 8000-series would be an improvement on the recently issued 7000-series cars, and would replace the 2000- and 3000-series cars, which have been in service since the early 1980s, Metro said.

The new cars will have more real-time information on digital screens, according to Metro, and will be lighter and more energy-efficient, with better braking.

“The new railcars will take everything customers love about the 7000-series and incorporate the latest technology and features that will serve hundreds of millions of passengers over the cars’ 40-year lifespan,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said in the statement.

Metro added that Hitachi is looking for a spot in the D.C. area to assemble the cars, which would lead to the creation of local jobs.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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