A Peek inside your future Metro Ride

new metro car

Thanks to a reader for sending a great shot of the inside of the new 7000 Series Metro Car being tested at Union Station.

Another reader sends a shot of the outside from Farragut North this morning. And also notes:

“One curious observation — there’s a new (still female) automated voice. She sounds much less stern.”


58 Comment

  • brookland_rez

    The carpet looks like it’s already stained up.

    • They don’t have carpet. It’s that rubbery resilient surface.

    • As jcm said, they don’t have carpet. It actually looks like they have the flooring covered with cardboard because the flooring is black/blue speckled linoleum.

    • It’s not carpet, and it’s not the rubber floor either – they have something temporary (which may be over the rubber floor?) down while it’s in testing.

  • Very modern and attractive. Lipstick on a pig tho if the cars aren’t installed with system improvements so that frequencies and reliability are significantly improved.

    • one of the features is doors that bound back slightly… which means that if you get stuck, they won’t try to continue to close and break. It will also allow you to pull your purse or backpack or arm in (or out) if you get stuck.

  • I like that there are more vertical holding bars. It’s difficult to grasp the horizontal ones on the backs of the seats (and many of us can’t comfortably reach the ones on the ceiling).

    • I also like this. I’m undecided about other aspects of the cars, but the fact that there are more vertical poles seems like it will be an improvement for shorter folks.

  • What’s the latest on the deployment date? More cars are more than welcome, ASAP.

  • Tsar of Truxton

    It seems like putting square benches in front of the doors is a bad idea 😉

  • But are these new cars smoke free?

  • Emmaleigh504

    What are they being tested for? When do we get to use them?

  • Love that this picture seems to suggest that there will be more “next stop” signs. I hate when I have headphones in and my seat has no good view of a sign within a given station. Not being able to tell where the hell I am has always been my biggest frustration

    • Even if you don’t have your headphones in, it’s not like you can ever hear what’s being announced.

  • So far, metro has 7 7000-serie cars, meaning not even a full 8 car train…
    So statistically, you have more chance of finding no escalators functioning in your station that to ride this train…
    That is not going to solve our problem as metro rider, it is just part of metro propaganda…
    I am so tired of them…

  • This is an old gripe, but this photo resurrected it in my mind. All we hear is that Metro is overcrowded, we need to do something to reduce overcrowding, etc. Yet when ordering new cars, WMATA decided NOT to opt for the layout that maximizes the number of people who can fit into each car. It’s shortsighted, and infuriating. Perhaps there’s something I’m missing, but why on earth wouldn’t they want to maximize efficiency?

    • If you are talking about lateral seating, Metro did a study and found that it doesn’t increase space.

      Also, the trains are are in married quads (four cars), so two of the four don’t have operator cabs… this will increase some space. Also, the seats aren’t as thick, which may seem small, but it adds up to at least more legroom.

      They should have made it a fully articulated train, like many european trains. That would have really increased space and more easily allowed people to spread throughout the entire train.

      • “Metro did a study and found that it doesn’t increase space”
        I find that very hard to believe. Not that they did a study, but I don’t find that conclusion credible at all. I admit I have no hard evidence to support that, but it just doesn’t seem plausible.
        I also wish that multiple cars were seat-free.

        • Agreed (re. the study).
          I think seat-free would be a little drastic, but having lateral seating only would be a huge improvement.

        • Agreed. Bench seating all the way.

        • Glad your hunch wins out over studied data. It was about how people sit on a bench vs. these seats along with the actual less standing space due to peoples’ legs and whatnot. I don’t have a link, but I remember seeing the study back when these were first ordered and it made sense.

          • totally true. Anyone who rides the lateral seating in NYC will tell you this. People sit differently, and take up more than one seat when there is bench seating. When it is laid out in pairs like this, it is less likely that a person will take up more than one seat worth of space in a crowded car.

          • Not all lateral seating is bench-style, though –often there are clearly delineated individual seats, like on most lines on the London Underground.

        • Also, the earth is not flat.

    • Because Maryland and Virginia didn’t want their long-distance riders to have fewer chances to sit. Seriously.

      • yep. Plus I think I remember them saying that it is awkward facing another person. I’d love for the 2nd and 7th car (or whichever are the most popular) to be seat free.

        • I think this is actually a good idea. Have one or two cars (same spot on every train) that are standing only with no seats for people who don’t mind.

      • And what’s wrong with that?

    • Agreed! I love the new NYC subway cars and even the Tube in London. The layout allows for people to quickly fill in. Grab a seat and quickly exit without making the person on the end standup. It is especially difficult to sit in the airline style seats with bags, kids, strollers etc. My understanding is that Metro originally designed the cars with carpeting and “commuter” style seating to make it feel less like a subway and more like a train (whatever that means). I always thought the carpeting was the grossest thing–who sits in a meeting and says, “Yeah, let’s put wall to wall carpeting on cars that get tons of traffic from the street.” Curious if Metro pays people to vacuum. Times have changed. There are a lot more people and businesses in the DMV area that are using Metro, so I wish they had reconsidered the layout. Does metro ever do research of other cities car designs–considering pros and cons?

      • Every time I end up on a hard floored metro car, someone has spilled a drink which proceeds to spread along the entire train car. It may make stains, but when people spill on the carpet, it sticks to one spot.

        It’s not like I’m eating off the floor, or even walking barefoot on it. So what do I care if there are some stains?

        • maxwell smart

          It should probably go without saying that Food and Drink are not permitted on DC Metro.

          • Eating and drinking aren’t permitted, but nonetheless there’s a surprising amount of food- and drink-related litter.
            Sometimes I think Metro should do like the Underground in London and not forbid eating and drinking… but then I think about how much MORE litter there would be if that were the case, and sigh.

          • maxwell smart

            Even NYC is doing is at least advertising that “It’s not a dining car” to encourage people not to eat and drink on the train… that however is unlikely to ever happen, despite the rat plaque.

      • Back in the day, at least, they used to scrub the carpets. You could always tell when it was done recently because it had a distinct smell. I haven’t noticed that smell in years. Vinyl flooring will be better, but who knows if they’ll clean those, either.

        Do do you have this same problem with the layout of seating on buses? Subways in other cities (including NYC, Chicago, LA and SF) have seating in pairs. This is not a subway vs. train style.

    • maxwell smart

      +1 I don’t know how many times I’ve seen trains that are jam-packed at the doors and the center of the train is empty because trying to exit from the center of the train is a pain.in.the.ass. This isn’t Amtrak where EVERYONE is seated and getting off a stop is fairly easy. While lateral seating MIGHT not get additional people into the train (although I find that very hard to believe) it is more efficient for loading and unloading people. Considering the amount of people on the DC Metro with strollers, luggage, etc. that only compounds the problem. Then again, I’ve grown to expect nothing but short-sighted decisions from WMATA. At least the carpet is gone.

      • People don’t move into the center because they are self-centered jerks. This is a problem on subways with lateral seating, too. People also don’t move to the rear on buses because they are self-centered jerks. It’s not that hard, but everyone thinks they should be the exception to the rule. Don’t blame the configuration of the seats. The Metro always comes to a complete stop for at least two seconds before the doors open. There is enough time to get to the doors to get off.

        • “People don’t move into the center because they are self-centered jerks. This is a problem on subways with lateral seating, too.” Yeah, but with lateral seating, it’s easier to get around/past them.

      • maxwell smart

        Agreed with textdoc. Having ridden the DC metro and the NYC subway, I usually feel less “trapped” in the center of the NYC subway with lateral seating, even with an extremely full car. In DC (the rare time I take the metro anymore… that’s another rant) I avoid the center because once the car fills up, the people in the center have to nearly resort to crowd surfing to exit the train for the 10 seconds the door is open.

  • I really wish the seats were going along the windows instead of perpendicular to the windows. While it may hold no more people – it does make exiting the car easier as well as carrying luggage. There is a reason most systems around the world are arranged that way. Also – they could copy Paris and have seats that fold down for non-rush hour periods to really pack the trains.

  • The future looks very much like the present (or 30 years behind Western Europe).
    Naturally, instead of a practical map next to the door or a map of the line above the door so that you know how many stops between where you are and where you get off…there is nothing.

    • They have those station strip maps, but I think they’re in the middle. There’s some supposed to be some kind of LCD map next to the door, too.

    • Yes! Although this is a model and may not be representative of what it will look like when it’s in service, I’m peeved at how few maps there are right now in trains and on many platforms. I’ve been in DC 15+ years, but I don’t take the train much and more and more often, I have to hunt to find a map.

  • The current new steel wheel trains in Paris (there are rubber tired trains) have BOA interior which makes it like a long bendy-bus. No doors between cars. There is a map of the line above the doors (like in NYC) and the center pole divides into 3 so that more than one person can hold on at the same height. Very clever. This is so far ahead of US trains. WMATA, MTA and others in transportation policy really need to visit the UK, France and Germany, even Japan and China to see how contemporaries are a model of modernity and efficiency. And the system needs to be subsidized by the government, not just the riders.

  • This will be great if people will put their luggage under their seats instead of on the seats next to them (especially during rush hour).

  • I remember riding a train on the green line of the T in Boston which had two seats on one side of the car, and only one seat across the aisle from it. This seemed to me to be a great idea because it preserved the majority of seating that a 2 and 2 configuration would have, while making the aisle more spacious and easier to move around in when the train was crowded. I wish Metro would have adopted that design as a compromise. I also wish that the new cars would have an additional set of doors to make the entry/exit process faster and less congested.
    Can anyone tell if there is a bar to hold onto which runs down the middle of the car? I am tall (5’10”) but if I am standing in the middle of the aisle, I find it very uncomfortable to hold onto the overhead bars which are off to the side.

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