WASHINGTON, D.C. — Through May 30, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority has an exhibit about the next generation Metro cars. Calling it Fleet of the Future, the Metro 8000-series cars will be significant modification of existing train cars.
- New seating configuration – one side will be primary benches, like the New York subway
- Connected Cars – you can go back and forth easily
- Bigger display screens
- Dedicated spaces for wheelchairs, strollers, bicycles and luggage
- Heated floors which seems like a solution in search of a problem
- Lighter aluminum bodies
- Hitachi is building the trains in Hagerstown, which was probably why Maryland governor Larry Hogan signed off on it
The exterior of the train is changes as well – it looks kind of aggressive. The line “it looks like its moving when its standing still” comes to mind a little bit.
There is also a fair amount of blue in hexagonal pattern. I wonder if that will look dated by the time the trains go into service in 2026 (we’ll see). The 7000-series little squares aesthetic looked like 2004 when it rolled out. I also wonder if the heavy use of blue is the best UX since only one of the six lines is colored blue. Regulars won’t have a problem, but what about tourists?
It’s not big, though there were Metro staff (or contractors) answering questions, sitting in the new seats (a lot like the 7000 series) and giving away swag. Is it worth making a special trip? Eh, maybe. I got a new water bottle and some Metro magnets my son will appreciate. If you don’t feel like going out of your way, you won’t have missed much.
|Thursday, May 25||3 pm – 8 pm|
|Friday, May 26||10 am – 3 pm|
|Saturday, May 27||11 am – 4 pm|
|Sunday, May 28||2 pm – 8 pm|
|Monday, May 29||11 am – 4 pm|
|Tuesday, May 30||6 am – 11 am|