Hitachi Rail Washington, LLC. (“Hitachi Rail”) has been awarded a contract worth up to $2.2 billion with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“Metro”) to design and build 256 of the 8000-series railcar vehicle. The Contract includes options, if exercised, to build up to 800.
Among the nation’s premier public transit providers, the heavy rail system covers a combined 118 miles, with six rail lines, 91 stations and some 1,292 railcars. More than half of the region’s jobs are within a half-mile radius of all Metro stations.
“Investing in the 8000-series railcars, is an investment in safe, reliable transportation for Metro’s customers and an investment in the region we serve by contributing to the local economy,” said Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld. “This is a win-win that supports the future of Metro, the local economy, and job creation throughout the National Capital Region.”
The new 8000-series railcars are designed to be lighter, safer and more energy-efficient with improved regenerative braking technology, ventilation system improvements, high-definition cameras and stringent cybersecurity requirements to enhance security. Metro and Hitachi Rail share a commitment to sustainability and this is applicable for the new model.
The new vehicles will further improve customers’ on-board experience with more digital screens and real-time information, dynamic maps, electrical outlets for charging personal devices, and additional hand-holds throughout the interior.
“We are honored to help Metro meet their mobility needs, providing innovative solutions to customers and improving the passenger experience,” said Andrew Barr, Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi Rail Group. “The rapid growth of our business translates into direct and indirect U.S. jobs, and further capital investments. The 8000-series award signals a major expansion of our U.S. business.”
Hitachi Rail will manufacture the car body structure, perform the equipment installation and will do the final assembly of the 8000-series cars in the Metro region, creating new skilled trades jobs in the local region. The initial pilot vehicles are expected to be delivered in 2024.
Hitachi Rail’s U.S. growth and emergence stems from a century of service to passenger and freight customers as a rail business originally established by famed U.S. inventor and rail pioneer George Westinghouse. Today, the company’s U.S. operating footprint includes East and West Coast U.S. railcar assembly plants as well as a manufacturing plant dedicated to signalling solutions, with plans to add a new assembly plant for the 8000-series in the region. With many partnerships, Hitachi Rail’s assembly plants are serving customers in Baltimore, Honolulu and Miami.