New Metro railcars set to be built in D.C. region
$2.2B contract awarded to Hitachi Rail Washington LLC
Metro’s new fleet of railcars will be built in the Washington, D.C., region, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced Wednesday. Hitachi Rail Washington LLC, an entity related to Japanese manufacturer Hitachi, has been awarded a contract worth up to $2.2 billion to build up to 800 railcars.
The base order for the system’s 8000-series railcars is for 256 cars, WMATA officials said in a statement. Hitachi is currently exploring sites in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland for a new assembly plant that is likely to result in direct and indirect local jobs, according to WMATA.
“Today, it is our privilege to help one of the nation’s premier transit agencies future-proof its fleet,” Andrew Barr, CEO of Hitachi Rail Group, said in a statement. “For Hitachi Rail, our company’s business growth translates to direct and indirect U.S. jobs. Further capital investments in assembly and manufacturing in the region will supply the growing U.S. rail market to meet increasing demand. We also believe that our downstream supply chain offers considerable opportunities for the participation of diverse business enterprises. We value diversity in the workplace and the marketplace.”
The new railcars are set to replace Metro’s nearly 40-year-old 2000- and 3000-series railcars and will include some features of the most recent fleet of 7000-series cars, which were built by Kawasaki. The new cars are expected to be finished in 2024.