Metro introduces new rail cars, proposes to shorten station names

A rendering of the interior of the 7000-series rail cars. (Photo: WMATA)

Metro unveiled two major changes to the system on Thursday with the unveiling of renderings of the system's 7000-series rail cars and the recommendation to shorten multiple station names.

The new rail cars, which are expected to roll out in 2013, will replace the oldest, 1000-series fleet and fully comply with NTSB safety standards.

7000-series rail cars will features two LCD and four video screens to track train locations and station routes, as well as improved public address and video monitoring systems.

Each car will have 64 seats and aisles that are two inches wider than ones in the current fleet.

Lincoln, Neb.- based Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. will produce 364 of the 7000-series cars.

In addition to the introduction of the new fleet, Metro's customer service committee unanimously voted to recommend that station names should go back to being limited to 13-19 characters, as to avoid some of the extremely long names some stations currently have.

The Metro Board will vote on the proposal on July 21. The changes were proposed in response to customer outcry that station names were unnecessarily long and ineffective.