Months ahead of schedule, WMATA plans on removing every 1000- and 4000-series railcar by July 1. WAMU reported that these are the Metro’s oldest and least reliable railcars, dating back to the system’s 1976 opening. As these cars are removed, 20 newer, 7000-series cars are arriving every month.
According to a press release, “New 7000-series cars are up to six times more reliable than the cars they are replacing, traveling more than 176,000 miles between delays in April. By contrast, Metro’s least-reliable 4000-series cars traveled an average of only 27,259 miles between delays in 2016.”
A majority of the 1000-series railcars have been retired with only 30 out of the original 300 still in service. WAMU further described these models as “not crashworthy,” while the National Transportation Safety Board described them as “vulnerable to catastrophic telescoping damage.” Telescoping is when a train car climbs up onto the roof of another train car in the result of a crash accident.
Out of the original 100 4000-series cars that were in service, there are only 30 that remain. WAMU simply described this series of cars as “irredeemable” and “the lemons of the fleet.”
Originally, the 1000- and 4000-series cars were to be retired at the end of 2017.