Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in the US has launched its new 7000-series rail cars for the Metrorail system.
The rail cars will replace all 300 of the Metrorail 1000-series cars that are serving the line for nearly 40 years.
Federal transit acting administrator Therese McMillan said: "The time has arrived to retire the oldest, 1000-series rail cars in the Metrorail fleet and replace them with a new generation of safer vehicles."
These new vehicles belong to a fleet of more than 500 new rail cars that are developed to deliver a safer, more comfortable ride for millions of passengers. These will also expand the overall capacity of Metrorail system.
US Department of Transportation deputy secretary Victor Mendez said: "Safety is our number one priority, and WMATA’s 7000-series rail cars are specifically designed to move hundreds of thousands of daily riders as safely as possible as they travel to work, school, doctor’s appointments and other destinations."
The new cars are expected to be deployed throughout Metrorail’s entire fleet, including the new Silver Line since it expands to serve Dulles International Airport.
Meanwhile, these new vehicles will also help WMATA to fulfil a key safety recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) which provided after the Metrorail collision at Fort Totten Station in June 2009. The Metrorail 1000-series cars were involved in the collision.
FTA has currently delivered more than $80m in funding to support the replacement of the 1000-series rail cars. Besides this, FTA has contributed more than $54m for 64 new rail cars.
Image: Debut of the Washington Metro’s new 7000-series railcars in January 2014. Photo: courtesy of Ben Schumin via Wikipedia.