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Metro preps to expand Green Line

(Published August 28, 2000)

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board members, from left, Calvin Nophlin, Decatur Trotter, Chairman Gladys Mack and member Carlton Sickles inspect one of Metro’s new rail cars.

Metrorail showed off the first pair of its new rail cars Aug. 18, featuring an all-new color scheme as well as safety and technical improvements.

The first thing most passengers will notice about the new cars is the new interiors. Burgundy and blue seat covers have replaced the ubiquitous yellow and orange seats of Metrorail’s older models. The new trains will also have electronic signs at the front and rear of the cars that display the next station, tell passengers which line they are riding and indicate on which side the doors will open.

The new cars also have barriers between them to prevent passengers from accidentally falling between the cars, panels on the door sills to minimize the amount of space between the cars and the station platforms and Braille instructions at the end of each car.

The first two cars were shipped from Spain already assembled so they could be run through a battery of tests before they are put into service. Metro General Manager Richard White said they plan to have about 25 cars ready for service when the final extension on the Green Line opens next year. White said Metro is aiming to open the new stations – including Congress Heights – Jan. 13.

Metro expects to have all 192 cars in service by June 2002. The total cost for the rail cars will be $339.5 million, the largest contract Metro has ever awarded. These are the first new cars Metro has put into service since 1994.

Copyright © 2001 The Common Denominator