PHOTOS: Take a peek into Metro’s ‘Fleet of the Future’

PHOTOS: Take a peek into Metro’s ‘Fleet of the Future’

Metro continues to reintroduce the 7000 Series rail cars gradually after they were sidelined due to safety concerns following a derailment in 2021. However, the Washington, D.C., transit agency is already offering a glimpse into the next generation of trains and buses.

From March 20 to April 3, visitors can explore a replica of the 8000 Series rail cars at the “Fleet of the Future Expo” located at the National Mall in D.C. Metro’s General Manager and CEO, Randy Clarke, highlighted the innovative features of the new trains, which include open gangways, improved digital screens for real-time information, enhanced safety video systems, a sustainable aluminum shell, and an eye-catching design.

While not a full-sized model, the mock-up provides visitors with an opportunity to experience the design and features of the new trains. The 8000 series will introduce an open passageway design between two cars, allowing for easier movement within the train. Trains will consist of either eight-car sets or six-car sets, each composed of pairs of two-car units. Additionally, the new rail cars will feature wall seating to maximize standing room and accommodate passengers with mobility devices. Flexible spaces for bikes, strollers, and luggage, along with larger digital screens and heated floors, are among the other enhancements.

The exhibit at the National Mall echoes a tradition dating back to 1968 when Metro unveiled prototypes of new trains at various locations, including the White House Lawn and Prince George’s Plaza.

In addition to showcasing the new rail cars, the expo will also feature a new 60-foot electric bus known for its fuel efficiency and zero tailpipe emissions, promising a quieter and smoother ride with less vibration.

The “Fleet of the Future Expo” is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., located near 12th Street and Madison Drive Northwest. Metro anticipates delivering the first pilot car in 2025, with full deployment of the new trains scheduled for 2026.