Washington DC Metro's New 7000-Series Railcar

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NY Yankee

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Metro's new 7000-series railcars are getting closer to being a reality; the first car should pull into stations in 2013. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has filmed General Manager Richard Sarles giving a tour of the new cars, fancy blue-and-gray decor and all.

The new 7000-series railcars will replace the 1000-series cars – the oldest in Metro’s fleet – and comply with recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, according to a WMATA news release.

Metro's first order from Kawasaki Rail Car is for 364 units, which will be manufactured in Lincoln, Neb. Three hundred of the new cars will be one-for-one replacements of the 1000-series cars. The remaining new cars will be used to advance the expansion of Metro as the system continues to progress on its new Silver Line to Dulles.

One of the more helpful features of the new cars are digital signs that show information about the next station and help riders track their progress by listing the next several stations ahead.

Maybe, just maybe, this will result in fewer families of tourists rushing in a panic to make a last-second transfer at Metro Center – only to have the doors close, leaving half of them still en route to Chinatown. (Maybe.)

"When you look at this car, you look at Washington Metro's future," Sarles says in the video

http://georgetown.patch.com/articles/video-tour-of-metro-s-new-7000-series-railcar#youtube_video-9291532

The Washington DC Metro plans to purchase new rail cars called the 7000 series. The purchase will enable the 1000 series cars to retire. It will also enable the Metro to have enough cars for the new Silver line that is being built. The cars are being built by Japanese manufactuter Kawasaki Rail Car.

Here is a video of the new car:

[youtube]ZrZIqiQxaQU[/youtube]

Here are some pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/metroforward/sets/72157629547185295/with/6967053829/
 
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Electrostar

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From an outsider's point of view American trains don't seem to look any different than they did a few decades ago. There's this flat-fronted type and the type with the recessed gangway and chain across the door. I'm sure the mechanics have been upgraded but they seem to favour the industrial look over the aesthetics.

It's interesting to see new trains with steel grab poles, where as we're used to coloured poles for DDA-compliance.

I always find seat types around the world fascinating. I sometimes wonder how we'd react to hard plastic seats seen on many metro systems.

As an aside I was in New York last year and amazed they were only just installing countdown displays on some platforms. Wonderful through-the-night service though, so can't complain about that!
 

Nym

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Looks kind of like origonal DLR stock, with some posh signs that wouldn't be able to be used in Europe because of DDA Regs.

And still, unlike the LU you don't get fabric on the seats by the looks of things, and they look like the most hated 17" pitch seating, although I suppose the DC metro you get mainly thin pax?

Cue the end of sarcasm..

Last thing, whats with the Klaus Badelt / Hans Zimmer style orchestral action music?
 

WestCoast

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The plastic seats used on subways/metros in the US make Merseytravel Pacers seem comfy. LU is first class in comparison.

I did half an hour on a busy E train in New York with luggage. It was certainly enough! There's no individual seating like LU so it's a case of how many people can you squeeze on the bench!
 

NY Yankee

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The E is the closest line to my house. I agree. Americans are (on average) heavier than residents of the UK. Individual seating wouldn't work in America.
 

WestCoast

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The E is the closest line to my house. I agree. Americans are (on average) heavier than residents of the UK. Individual seating wouldn't work in America.
Don't get me wrong I thought the NY subway was great. Great coverage, frequent 24/7 service, fast with expresses, very cheap compared to the UK (the 7 day unlimited pass seemed stupidly cheap compared to the Tube).

There are certainly some "characters" on those trains! I met a preacher who ranted for 15 minutes in the middle of a carriage, a huge homeless man asking for money going through the train dressed in robes like a caveman, a mexican-style band busking between stations, some kids street dancing in the aisle, a singing conductor and another homeless man stretched across four seats sleeping in the rush hour! Very entertaining compared to systems in Europe, where nothing like that seems to happen.

However, many of the stations are a little...erm..run down and a bit smelly. The elevated stations on the 7 in Queens seemed to shake a bit when a train came in!
 

NY Yankee

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Let's just say that there's a reason why I post on a UK-based railroad fansite even though I'm from America. The system in NYC is deplorable. The homeless people you saw are due to the fact that there's more income inequality in America than the UK. As far as the quality of the stations, Americans simply don't care about trains as much as Europeans. Whenever a new railroad line is about to be built, there's always political opposition.
 

WestCoast

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Let's just say that there's a reason why I post on a UK-based railroad fansite even though I'm from America. The system in NYC is deplorable. The homeless people you saw are due to the fact that there's more income inequality in America than the UK. As far as the quality of the stations, Americans simply don't care about trains as much as Europeans. Whenever a new railroad line is about to be built, there's always political opposition.
Oh, I don't know, the UK (especially the big cities like London) have their fair share of homeless people who beg on the streets. It's just that it's not easy for these people to beg/sleep on say, the Tube, as there are more staff on the network and it's expensive to get in (£4/$6.50 minimum in cash). There's exit fare controls as well.

I found New York to be friendlier than London, it reminded me of how people act in northern cities in England. Most people actually seemed quite friendly and willing to help you if you seemed lost! Not really chatty, but fairly pleasant.

There's also quite a large difference in attitude between the UK and continental European countries. The latter see the UK as the closest thing to the US in Europe. Outside of London in the UK, there's often opposition to spending money public transport improvements, as many prefer to travel by car. Some people will object to anything; new roads, new runways and new railways. I am generalizing a bit, but things don't always seem to get done here either!
 
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