WMATA General Manager: At least one 1000 Series car will be preserved

The following tweet from a WTOP Radio reporter was brought to my attention yesterday afternoon:

@alex_block Wiedefeld said today #WMATA is keeping car number 1000 at a minimum. Didn’t seem to have plans to keep any 4ks

— Max Smith (@amaxsmith) February 15, 2017

You may recall that almost a year ago, I asked who wants to preserve a piece of DC transit history when WMATA began to retire its 40+ year old 1000 Series railcars.  Some suggestions came out of the post, but I was unable to investigate any of those options myself.  In light of this good news, I hope that WTOP and other outlets are able to find out if it is in fact car 1000 (pictured above) that will be preserved, if 1001 (1000’s mate and the first car to actually be delivered to WMATA) will be preserved as well, and if they will remain in operating condition for special events, the way that New York City runs its vintage fleet at various times each year.  Of course, if I hear any answers to these questions myself, I’ll be sure to share that news here.  

What do you think WMATA should do with the 1000 Series cars that it preserves?

WMATA’s Oldest Railcar Still Rolling Along

WMATA Rohr 1000, the lowest numbered car in the Metrorail fleet, at Silver Spring Station, September 14, 2016

WMATA Rohr 1000, the lowest numbered car in the Metrorail fleet, at Silver Spring Station, September 14, 2016

Yesterday, I happened to catch a ride on board WMATA Rohr car number 1001.  Although it isn’t the lowest numbered railcar in the fleet (that distinction goes to its mate, car 1000), it was the first to be delivered to WMATA and as far as I’m concerned, it is therefore the oldest car in the WMATA fleet.

Unfortunately, since 2009, the 1000 Series cars no longer operate at the ends of trains, so getting photos of the front end in the “usual style” is no longer possible without yard access.  However, I did have the opportunity to ride both 1000 and 1001 prior to this policy change and also have photos of them at the front of trains.

As I wrote back when the first Rohr car was shipped off to Baltimore for scrapping, to my knowledge, there are no plans to preserve any of the Rohr cars.  I doubt anyone on board the train with me yesterday knew about the significance of the train they were on, but it remains my hope that someone has the good sense to preserve the 1000-1001 pair as it makes up a significant piece of Washington, DC’s transit history.

The Beginning of the End for the WMATA 1000 Series

A few weeks ago, I was alerted to a photo that had been posted on Flickr of WMATA Rohr 1013 at a scrapyard in Baltimore.  In other words, the retirement of WMATA’s oldest cars, the 1000 Series, has started nearly 40 years after these cars first entered service.  About a week ago, the Washington Post wrote an article describing the scrapping process, and I’ll offer my thoughts about that tomorrow.  For this post, I just wanted to share a photo that I took of car 1013 back on January 20, 2005 at Farragut North.  At the time, I didn’t think there was a whole lot that was particularly noteworthy about the photo.  It is a pretty standard photo taken of a train that is about to leave the station with a decent view of the station platform and vault as well.  Who knew this railcar would be among the first to be dispatched to the “great train yard in the sky?”

WMATA Rohr 1013 at Farragut North
January 20, 2005