Reliability concerns prompt Washington Metro to speed up replacement of older fleets

Photo: WMATA.

Washington Metro is planning to retire all of its 1000 and 4000 series metro trains earlier than planned because of poor reliability.

All of the older vehicles, some of which entered service in the mid-1970s, will be replaced with new 7000 series trains by July 1 as part of an accelerated decommissioning process to remove both fleets from the network.

Metro said its 4000 series trains were currently achieving an average of 27,259 miles between failures compared to the 176,000 miles racked up by the 7000 vehicles, which were first introduced in 2014.

There are currently 43 7000 series trains in service. Metro is receiving up to 20 new trains a month and has so far accepted around half of the 748 cars ordered from Kawasaki.

Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld said: “By retiring the last of our oldest and least reliable railcars, we will be in a much better position to deliver more reliable service for our customers.”

Some of the retired 4000 series trains are being offered to emergency services for training purposes while the first two vehicles – 1000 and 1001 – will be refurbished and retained as heritage vehicles.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has already begun planning for its new 8000 series trains, publishing a design consultation document earlier this year.

Read more: California High-Speed Rail Authority to invest $115m in new LA underground rail



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