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March 22, 2010

D.C. Metro board to vote on plan to replace rail cars

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 identity of the vendor selected for the program is expected  to be announced at the meeting, said Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel,

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, Taubenkibel said.

The spokesman said the rail car replacement program will allow Metro to retire its 1970s-era Series 1000 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 the slammed into a stopped tarin last June, killing nine.

The board contends the old cars are not built strongly enough to resist crumpling in a collision.

Posted by Michael Dresser at 4:19 PM |
Categories: WMATA/D.C. Metro
About Michael Dresser
Michael Dresser has been an editor, reporter and columnist with The Sun longer than Baltimore's had a subway. He's covered retailing, telecommunications, state politics and wine. Since 2004, he's been The Sun's transportation writer. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife and travel companion, Cindy.

His Getting There column appears on Mondays. Mike's blog will be a forum for all who are interested in highways, transit and other transportation issues affecting Baltimore, Maryland and the region.

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