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.