by Josephine Cordero Sapién
17 Mar 2021
Hitachi Rail has won a contract worth up to 2.2 billion USD with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for the design and build of 256 8000-series railcar vehicles.
The contract includes options such that Hitachi Rail could deliver up to 800 railcars to WMATA in total. The vehicles will be assembled in the United States.
The railcars will run on the Washington area heavy rail system that is 118 miles long. It comprises six lines and 91 stations and currently operates 1,292 railcars. More than half of the jobs in the region are within a half-mile radius of all the area’s metro stations.
“Investing in the 8000-series railcars, is an investment in safe, reliable transportation for Metro’s customers and an investment in the region we serve by contributing to the local economy.
“This is a win-win that supports the future of Metro, the local economy, and job creation throughout the National Capital Region.”
Hitachi’s 8000-series railcars are lighter than the predecessor models. They are also more energy-efficient, featuring technology such as better regenerative braking. The railcars will have improvements to their ventilation system, high-definition cameras and strict cybersecurity requirements to meet.
A greater number of digital screens displaying real-time information and dynamic maps will improve the passenger experience. Furthermore, the railcars will have power sockets so passengers can charge their devices while travelling.
“We are honored to help Metro meet their mobility needs, providing innovative solutions to customers and improving the passenger experience.
“The rapid growth of our business translates into direct and indirect U.S. jobs, and further capital investments. The 8000-series award signals a major expansion of our U.S. business.”
Hitachi Rail will manufacture the carbodies, install the equipment and do the final assembly in the Metro region. The first pilot vehicles should be delivered in 2024.
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