Hitachi Rail Washington (Hitachi Rail) has secured a contract from the US’ Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for designing and building 256 of the 8000-series railcars.

The total value of the contract is nearly $2.2bn, with the options to build up to 800 railcars.

The new railcars feature upgraded regenerative braking technology, ventilation system improvements, high-definition cameras and cybersecurity.

WMATA CEO and general manager Paul J Wiedefeld said: “Investing in the 8000-series railcars, is an investment in safe, reliable transportation for Metro’s customers and an investment in the region we serve by contributing to the local economy. This is a win-win that supports the future of Metro, the local economy, and job creation throughout the National Capital Region.”

The railcars will be equipped with dynamic maps, electrical outlets for charging personal devices, and additional digital screens to provide real-time information.

Hitachi Rail Group CEO Andrew Barr said: “We are honoured to help Metro meet their mobility needs, providing innovative solutions to customers and improving the passenger experience. The rapid growth of our business translates into direct and indirect US jobs, and further capital investments. The 8000-series award signals a major expansion of our US business.”

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By GlobalData

The company will be responsible for producing the structure of the carbody, installing the equipment, and assembling the railcars in the metro region.

The first pilot railcars are scheduled to be delivered in 2024.

Last week, Hitachi Rail signed a contract with Italy’s primary train transport company Trenitalia to provide combined logistic support to the ETR 500-Frecciarossa high-speed fleet, comprising 59 trains.