WASHINGTON Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has selected a consortium of CAF and US defence contractor AAI Corp to build 100 new cars for the Washington DC metro network. The $212m contract will bring the MetroRail fleet to 864 cars; the original 298 cars were built by Rohr Industries and the next 466 in three batches by Breda Costruzione Ferroviarie. The consortium was preferred over rival bids from Breda and Kinki Sharyo.

The first 26 cars are scheduled for delivery by December 2000, in time for the opening of WMATA ’s 10·5 km Green line extension to Branch Avenue in Maryland. The remainder will follow by October 2001. Car bodies will be manufactured by CAF in Spain but other components will be built in the USA to meet ’Buy America’ requirements. Final assembly will take place at AAI’s Hunt Valley plant north of Baltimore.

  • Next month will see the start of a network-wide track and rolling stock upgrading for the Atlanta metro. Yellow carpet floors in the vehicles, which have become stained from spilled food, gum and dirt, will be replaced by rubber flooring. Marta says this is easy to clean and still meets all safety and skid resistance requirements.

    At the same time, almost 50 000 of the network’s 95 000 concrete sleepers have started to crack and spall as the result of severe weather and temperature variations. The sleepers and rail fastenings are to be replaced in a three-phase programme to be completed in February 2000; this will require single-line working at night and weekends. Construction is also due to start in July on an 81 000m2 stabling yard near Lindbergh Centre station to accommodate 100 extra EMU cars ordered from Breda (RG 3.98 p143). o