Washington Metro held a Press Tour of the new 7000-series railcar. Here is what Metro is calling a modern “21st century” railcar:
As you can see, they got rid of the carpeting . But other than that, it is basically the same 1970’s design.
Two years ago, blogger Matt Johnson enumerated all the ways the disappointments with this new design. The biggest problem is that these are not articulated railcars, Even more surprising was to read that passengers won’t be able to move between cars at all.
Except for the USA, articulated railcars are becoming the norm. Articulation increases the usable space on the train, and eliminates “hotspot” crowding in one particular car. Articulation posed no technical problems because Metro already operates trains in married pairs, and the new railcars are not intended to be backwards compatible with earlier cars.
So what possible reason did staff have for not using articulated trains? Yonah Freemark asked that very question, and the answer is that Metro staff just hates change:
Metro spokesperson Lisa Farbstein: “We have not designed our cars that way. It’s a choice we made when we started the system decades ago. No plans to change it just to change it.”