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Rail News: Mechanical

WMATA to retire 4000-series rail-car fleet

The first 4000-series rail car will be moved off WMATA property Feb. 15.
Photo – Ben Schumin (shared under Creative Commons)


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) next week will begin retiring its 4000-series rail cars.

The least reliable of WMATA's fleet, the cars can travel an average of just over 27,000 miles between delays caused by mechanical or other equipment issues, agency officials said in a press release. For comparison, WMATA's 6000-series can travel more than 103,000 miles before encountering such delays.

The first retired 4000-series car is scheduled to be moved off agency property on Feb. 15. Retired cars will be transported to Baltimore, where they'll be scrapped.

Under the "Back2Good" program, WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld has committed to eliminating all 1000- and 4000-series cars from service by Dec. 31 in order to reduce delays. Rail-car mechanical issues accounted for nearly two-thirds of delays in 2016.

WMATA has retired about half of 1000-series cars — the agency's oldest fleet — since February 2016. Old cars are retired as the new 7000-series cars arrive.

In fall 2016, WMATA removed all 4000-series cars from the lead position of trains following the discovery of a safety issue with the units' automatic train control system.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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