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<< Rail News Home: Mechanical

9/12/2006    Operations

Rail News: Mechanical

WMATA to roll out new cars, ramp up service

Last week, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Customer Service, Operations and Safety Committee approved a plan to deploy the first of WMATA’s new 6000 series cars and considered proposals to improve service.

The cars will help relieve crowding during rush-hour periods by enabling WMATA to operate eight-car train service on the Red and Green lines and six-car train service on the Yellow Line, as well as convert two four-car trains to six-car trains on the Blue Line. The authority will distribute 40 cars equally between its various rail lines and hold 10 cars in reserve.

Early next year, WMATA officials will decide how to deploy the remaining 134 Series 6000 cars, which will be delivered through 2008.

Meanwhile, officials are developing plans to improve service. The authority might split Blue Line trains at Rosslyn station so during rush hour, half the trains leaving the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail station would travel through Rosslyn and continue to Largo Town Center along their current route. The other half would turn at the Pentagon and continue to Greenbelt, providing additional service from Virginia to D.C. to Maryland.

WMATA also might eliminate a turnback at the Grosvenor-Strathmore station during peak hours and at Silver Spring during peak and off-peak periods, and provide express train service from end-of-the-line stations to downtown D.C.

In addition, trains might depart end-of-the-line stations seven minutes apart instead of six minutes, except on the Red Line, to optimize the number of trains heading into downtown and reduce train stops and starts.

Officials will present a more detailed plan to the committee this winter.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.