Metro News Release

For immediate release: December 4, 2007

Metro tests new railcar designs

Two railcars feature resilient flooring, bench seating, leaning pads, grab "straps"

As part of Metro’s efforts to reduce wear and tear on its rail cars and increase capacity on the rail system, the transit agency has introduced two redesigned railcars which feature non-carpeted resilient flooring, bench seating, leaning pads and overhead stainless steel grab straps.

Rail cars #6104 and #6105 are the first rail cars in the Metrorail system with a special resilient non-carpeted flooring material. The rail cars also feature overhead stainless steel grab bars for shorter customers. The rail cars, which are part of Metro’s newest series of rail cars, the 6000 series rail cars, have more overhead and seatback-to-ceiling handrails, and fewer windscreens. Some floor-to-ceiling poles and four seats at the center doors were removed for easier passenger flow and to allow room for wheelchairs to maneuver.

New railcar with resilient flooring

In our continuing quest to improve the cleanliness of the Metrorail fleet, we are testing rail cars without carpets and we hope in the near future we will be able to expand this flooring to all of our rail cars,” said John Catoe, Metro’s General Manager.

To gauge the flooring material’s performance, Metro officials will monitor its everyday use and will reach out to passengers to seek their reaction.

“By switching from carpeting to resilient flooring, Metro can expect to save money because the new flooring is easier to clean and does not need to be replaced as frequently as carpet. It is also designed to give riders traction so they will not slip,” said Dave Kubicek, Metro’s Assistant General Manager for Metrorail.

Redesigned railcar, #3283, has more room for standing, luggage, wheelchairs, bicycles and strollers. There are handrails, fewer seats and cameras to study the flow of people.

Railcar #3283, has 16 seats removed, and adds two sets of leaning rests at one end of the car. Bench seating is located in the middle of the car and features a cloth-designed seating that was designed to minimize the effects of graffiti and vandalism. The car has 15 overhead stainless steel grab bars located down the center of the rail car, and a special three handle floor-to-ceiling pole at another end of the car.
New railcar with bench seating and grab straps

“The idea of this car is to entice people down the aisle,” said Gerald Francis, Metro’s Deputy General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. “At the same time, we want our customers to experience something they are not accustomed to seeing and providing their feedback to us, particularly on the redesigned railcar.”

Introducing bench seating and overhead grab straps is part of an effort to improve passenger flow aboard Metrorail cars. Last year, Metro redesigned the interiors of some railcars for testing. The remodeled cars included new interior layout bench seating, more overhead grab bars, and an open floor area near the doors to accommodate more customers.

New railcar with leaning pads

News release issued at 12:00 am, December 4, 2007.