Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) officials plan to replace the transit authority’s trains with newly designed 7000 series rail cars.
Their vision is to create cars that have a shiny new exterior with stainless steel, new ergonomic seats, resilient flooring and touch-screen controls for the operator.
The upgraded seats would be stronger, thinner and taller, with seat-back grab handles that allow for more leg room. These would replace the current fiberglass seats. Carpeting would be removed. Overhead and spring loaded handles would be added, as well as interactive, linear maps and automated announcements stating the station names the trains are servicing. Security cameras would be installed on all rail cars.
The new seat configuration, resilient floors and spring grab handles are being tested on a rail car that was recently put into service.
WMATA began testing two other remodeled rail cars last year and experimenting with different styles of rail car designs in an effort to improve passenger flow aboard trains.
WMATA currently has a fleet of 1,070 rail cars ranging from the 1000 to 6000 Series. The oldest, 1000 Series rail cars are more than 30 years old. WMATA began putting the 6000 Series rail cars into service last year.