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12/29/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

WMATA places spotlight on 2004 projects and plans


Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has big plans in 2004, which the authority highlighted in a "What’s New for Metro in 2004" report released last week.

In early 2004, WMATA expects to award a design-build contract for a new mezzanine entrance with a platform, canopy extension and new walkway at the King Street Station; expand the New Carrollton rail yard; and break ground on parking structures at the College Park, Glenmont and New Carrollton stations.

In spring, the authority plans to award a contract for a pilot project to upgrade its train-control station stopping system, which will enable Metrorail to operate eight-car trains to alleviate overcrowding. Currently, WMATA operates four- and six-car trains. Authority officials expect to complete the pilot’s first phase — designing, installing and testing the system at seven stations — by the end of 2004.

Also in spring, WMATA plans to begin the Ballston Metrorail Station rehabilitation, award a contract to build a new Metro Transit Police Department substation and begin construction on the Anacostia Corridor Demonstration Project.

By year end, WMATA will complete an 18-month demonstration program to operate Metrorail until 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Further continuation of the extended service will depend on future funding, according to a prepared statement.

WMATA also expects to begin service on a 3.1-mile, two-station extension of the Blue Line from Addison Road-Seat Pleasant to Largo Town Center.

On the Red Line, the authority will open its New York Avenue Station and begin a pilot program to mitigate tunnel leaks on the Red Line by placing a waterproof coating in the tunnel walls.

The authority also plans to overhaul 32 elevators and 150 escalators.

Next year, ALSTOM Transportation is expected to reintroduce modernized Series 2000/3000 Breda rail cars into service. In 2000, WMATA awarded a contract to ALSTOM to rehabilitate 364 rail cars. ALSTOM also will continue building 62 Series 6000 rail cars for the authority.

Finally, WMATA officials plan to develop strategies to eliminate a projected $60 million budget shortfall in fiscal-year 2005 and lobby federal, state and local authorities for increased funding. WMATA needs $1.5 billion more than has already been committed during the next six years to maintain the system, according to a prepared statement.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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