WMATA plans for 8000-series rail cars from Hitachi Rail, yard & power system upgrades

WMATA plans for 8000-series rail cars from Hitachi Rail, yard & power system upgrades Image credit: WMATA

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA, Metro) is inviting input on its 8000-series trains, which will be manufactured by Hitachi Rail and are expected to start service in 2026. Proposed concepts for Metro’s train fleet of the future include:

  • Safety improvements;
  • Customer Experience Improvements; and
  • Sustainability improvements

Based on long-term ridership estimates for 2030, the agency wants to grow its railcar fleet by 250 cars, from 1,278 to 1,528, and possibly more for additional ridership needs past 2040. With a Metrorail order of at least 256 cars and up to 800 cars, Hitachi Rail will deliver the order of up to $2.2 billion from its new factory in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Metro’s existing rail yards can hold 1522 cars (244 more than the agency currently has) and many storage track lengths do not translate to multiples of eight. Greenbelt Yard is the only yard designed to store eight-car trains where “almost all” storage tracks can hold 16 cars.

Metro plans to add capacity at two yards, and build a brand new one. The agency plans to increase storage at New Carrollton Yard from 120 to 176 cars, and hopes to expand the yard to store 232 cars and double its maintenance capacity from 16 cars to 32. The Heavy Rail Overhaul facility is planned along the eastern Orange Line to add 40 maintenance spaces.

The decision to target running only eight-car trains means the agency would need to upgrade its power system.

Source: WMATA