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For immediate release: June 7, 2017

Metro to retire all 1000- and 4000-series railcars by July 1, months ahead of schedule

Every 1000- and 4000-series railcar - Metro's oldest and least-reliable cars, respectively - will be decommissioned and permanently removed from passenger service by July 1, months ahead of original projections, Metro announced today.

Under Metro's Back2Good program, announced earlier this year, Metro had accelerated the retirement of the 1000- and 4000-series railcars as new, more reliable 7000-series railcars arrive, resulting in improved service, fewer offloads and delays. New 7000-series cars are up to six times more reliable than the cars they are replacing, traveling more than 176,000 miles between delays in April. By contrast, Metro's least-reliable 4000-series cars traveled an average of only 27,259 miles between delays in 2016.

"By retiring the last of our oldest and least reliable railcars, we will be in a much better position to deliver more reliable service for our customers," said Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld. "We have already seen the positive results of this effort in the form of fewer railcar-related delays and fewer offloads."

Replacing the 1000-series with safer 7000-series cars also responds to an open recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Since Metro began retiring problematic cars more than a year ago, the number of offloads has dropped by half, from an average of 120 per month during 2016 compared to only 62 offloads in April. In addition, customers are encountering fewer delays, nearly two thirds of which are caused by railcar mechanical issues. In May, more than 91 percent of the 13.6 million weekday trips taken on Metrorail arrived within 5 minutes of schedule.

Metro currently has 43 new trains in passenger service (344 7000-series cars) and is receiving new cars at a rate of up to 20 per month. The transit system has purchased 748 new railcars in total.

Metro is making available a number of decommissioned 4000-series railcars to emergency response agencies in the region for training purposes. In addition, a pair of Metro's original railcars, numbered 1000 and 1001, will be refurbished and preserved for historical purposes.