New Metro Cars Roll Into Local Stations (Photos)
New Metro cars added to the fleet early this year are hitting the circuit, rolling into local stations and replacing Metro’s oldest cars while also adding train capacity.
The cars are being tested on the system over the next several months, and Metro will send data back to the Kawasaki production facility in Lincoln, Neb. to finalize the railcar design process.
The modern rail cars are equipped with state-of-the-art safety technology and numerous features designed with extensive customer input. Through the project’s Customer Design Team, actual Metro riders participated in the design of the new railcars at every phase of the process. In addition, seat design options were tested with Metrorail riders in several stations, and Metro’s Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) and Riders’ Advisory Council (RAC) provided input.
The new rail cars include a customer-preferred blue and grey interior color scheme and offer a slate of new features and customer amenities, including:
- Stainless steel car body for increased durability
- 64 vinyl padded seats and seat-back hand grasps
- Six different station destination signs, including two dynamic LCD route maps and four video screens in each car
- LCD map displays to allow customers to easily track their location
- LED screens that provide current and upcoming station information
- Improved seats that provide more knee room and better lumbar support
- Wider aisles (34 inches verses 32 inches on older cars) to facilitate movement within the car
- Additional space near the doors for standees and wheelchairs
- Resilient nonslip flooring, rather than carpet
- High-tech automated public address systems
- Closed circuit cameras for added safety and security
- More reliable door systems using proven technology
- Added handholds in the door area and vertical poles added at each seat – for a total of 25% more linear feet of bars than in Metro’s 6000-series cars
- Enhanced lighting and privacy screens in the vestibule area
Unlike earlier railcar series that can be “mixed and matched” within a single train, the 7000-series cars will operate only with other 7000-series cars. The cars will also be in a “quad-unit configuration,” meaning that the cars will operate in four-car sets, allowing the accommodation of 40 more passengers per eight-car train than an older models because of fewer operator compartments.
By 2018, more than half of Metrorail’s fleet is expected to be comprised of 7000-series cars.
See photos of the trains in action from MyMCMedia’s Sonya Burke below: