BROOKEVILLE, Md. (ABC7) — Metro is taking the 1000 and 4000 series railcars off the tracks by the end of the year, but before they hit the graveyard, some of the cars are being recycled to spruce up a station.
Robert Mojo started welding at age 13, but now he's taking on his biggest project yet.
"It’s a piece that was potentially going to be scrapped and reclaiming it," said Mojo, as sparks were flying.
Mojo is transforming a 4000 series Metro car. The 80,000 pound railcar is being recycled and sliced into seven sections like a loaf of bread. The car is getting gutted and turned into vendor kiosks at the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station.
"All these doors are going to be functional and no longer under mechanics," said Mojo, owner of Rusted Rebels, a specialty metals fabricator who is the lead designer for the project.
Fivesquares Development got the go ahead for the pilot project. The plaza above the Metro station will be filled with pop-up vendors.
"This is a really old and tired Metro station. If WMATA is going to trust us to really create something great we thought let's just push the envelope," said Ron Kaplan, co-founder of Fivesquares Development.
The 1000 and 4000 series cars are the least reliable, and they’re being retired.
Fivesquares hired Mojo to salvage one, and it was transported to a warehouse in Brookeville where he plans to spend the next two weeks transforming it.
The underbelly of the railcar was one of the first things to be removed. Wires and large pieces of metal will also be recycled and likely turned into a piece of art. The seats will also be repurposed and welded into benches at the plaza.
"We're gonna have a recycled car that we think over time will become a little bit of a museum, and we'll try and incorporate it into the development," Kaplan said.
The unique vendors plaza is expected to open during a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 17.