D.C. Metro To Begin Running New Railcars In Late 2014

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D.C.'s new Metro cars are "a complete departure" from what transit riders have seen for the last four decades, according to the agency's chief.

Metro's General Manager Richard Sarles said the new fleet will be unveiled next year.

He called the cars "a complete departure from what people have seen for the last three or four decades on Washington Metro. It brings us into the 21st century."

According to him, by the end of 2013, the first four 7000-series rail cars are expected to arrive in D.C. — and be tested for 30 weeks.

"This is to fine tune the design and the manufacturing process and then the full scale production will start," he explained.

Metro's goal is to spend $2 billion on 748 7000-series rail cars, so that by 2018 more than half its fleet is modernized. The 7000-series will not be linked with any older rail cars, and will run only in eight-car trains with modern features starting late next year.

"You can be able to watch a map which shows you where your train is in relation to stations coming up," said Sarles.

Metro will phase out its 1000- and 4000-series rail cars — and expand the entire fleet by 128 cars for the start of the Silver Line next year.

Watch a video of the new cars -- complete with Kashmir-inspired soundtrack -- below.