D.C. Metro likely to approve new train cars for $2 billion

March 23, 2010

The board of Washington's Metro system is expected to vote Thursday on a staff recommendation for the purchase of a new generation of rail cars that is expected to push its oldest cars into retirement. Under the $2 billion program, Metro plans to eventually buy 648 new rail cars and rebuild 100 others. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority does not have the money to finance the entire purchase now but does have the funding to buy 64 cars to launch service on its planned Silver Line to Dulles International Airport, said Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. The name of the vendor selected for the program is expected to be announced at the meeting, he said. The spokesman said the replacement program will allow Metro to retire its 1970s-era Series 1000 rail cars. The transit agency has come under pressure from the National Transportation Safety Board to replace the cars, six of which were in use on the train that slammed into a stopped train last June, killing nine. The board contends the old cars are not built strongly enough to resist crumpling in a collision.

- Michael Dresser

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