LANDOVER, MD – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today joined Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD-4th) and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) officials for the public unveiling of a full-scale model of the new 7000-series Metro cars, which are expected to be in use by early 2014.
WMATA has ordered 428 7000-series railcars, which will be built in Lincoln NE, creating approximately 1,000 U.S. jobs. The 7000-series was designed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company with safety, energy efficiency and performance in mind. The improved safety features of the 7000 series include: a stainless steel car body with increased durability, advanced crash energy management system for improved operator and passenger survivability, a closed-circuit television system that will allow for conductor monitoring, additional handholds in the door area and vertical poles at each seat, among other improvements.
“I am pleased we were able to get the funding that was necessary to help fund these new, safer railcars that will ensure much greater safety for Metro’s passengers,” said Senator Cardin, a member of Senate Environment and Public Works and Finance Committees. “We had a tragedy in 2009 when one train slammed into another on the Red Line, killing nine people. We must do all we can to prevent such a tragedy again, and I believe these new, safer rails cars are an important step in ensuring the future safety of the traveling public.”
In 2008, the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIAA) contained Senator Cardin’s provision authorizing $1.5 billion over 10 years for Metro. The passage of PRIAA, along with annual appropriations for Metro, provided the necessary funding for the purchase of these new railcars.