The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, commonly known as Metro or WMATA, has received the first 7000-series railcars at Greenbelt Station.
The new cars will undergo testing over the next several months, and feedback will be sent the Kawasaki production facility in Lincoln, Nebraska to finalise its design process. Full-scale production of the new cars is expected to begin in mid-2014.
The new rail cars will feature stainless steel body, 64 vinyl padded seats and seat-back hand grasps, six different station destination signs, LCD map displays, wider aisles, additional space near the doors for standees and wheelchairs.
Additional features include non-slip flooring, high-tech automated public address systems, closed circuit cameras, added handholds in the door area and vertical poles at each seat, and enhanced lighting and privacy screens in the vestibule area.
The new railcars are fitted with anti-climbers that help keep cars upright and in-line in the event of a collision and are built to meet rigorous fire safety standards.
WMATA general manager and CEO Richard Sarles said: "These cars are distinct in that they have been designed with extensive input from our riders, who gave our team feedback on everything from seat colours and lumbar support, to hand holds and electronic displays.
"By starting with a blank slate, we are able to bring to Metro riders the latest in safety, comfort, convenience and technology."
The new trains, which will all be eight cars long, are expected to enter service later in 2014.
Apart from adding train capacity, the new railcars will fulfil the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendation to replace Metro’s oldest cars.