Metro said on Wednesday it has selected Hitachi Rail to produce its 8000-series railcars under a $2.2 billion contract.
The contract has a base order of 256 railcars, for which Metro is expected to spend at least $667 million. And there is the option of building up to 800 cars in the fleet for up to $2.2 billion.
“We are excited about this critical investment in safe and reliable railcars and service for Metro customers, made possible through the region’s dedicated funding commitment,” Paul Smedberg, Metro’s Board of Directors Chair, said in a release. “The capital investments we are making in our transit system also support our businesses, our environment, and our quality of life in the national capital region.”
The 8000-series railcars are designed to modernize the Metro fleet as an improvement upon the features of the 7000-series cars, which are the most reliable in the transit agency’s history, according to the release. The project is also expected to contribute to the economy in the area.
Metro has selected Hitachi Rail (@HitachiRailENG) to build the system’s 8000-series railcars in the U.S. The contract, valued up to an estimated $2.2 billion, includes a base order of 256 railcars, with options to build up to 800 in the fleet. https://t.co/AwzumnuSYr #wmata pic.twitter.com/toAAdN57DL
— Metro (@wmata) March 17, 2021
“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 CEO Paul Wiedefeld said.
The 8000-series will include more digital screens and real-time information, dynamic maps, electrical outlets, and extra hand-holds. The new cars will also be safer, lighter, and more energy-efficient. They will start serving the region’s riders by 2024.