I’ve spilled quite a bit of digital ink writing about the retirement of the WMATA 1000 Series and 4000 Series railcars. Yesterday, car 4014 was trucked from WMATA’s Greenbelt Yard to a scrapyard in Baltimore. This car was the last of the 4000 Series cars to be removed from WMATA property, truly making the end of the retirement process. While it is possible that the 8000 Series cars (which are just modified 1000 Series cars) that were used for revenue collection are still on the property, these are scheduled to be scrapped as well and replaced by 6000 Series trains that have been refitted for use on the money train. All that are left from these two car classes are the 1000-1001 and 4000-4001 pairs, which are being retained for historical purposes.
As I have written before, as someone who grew up in the DC area and has always considered the 1000 Series trains to be my favorites, this is a significant moment in the region’s transportation history. Once the 1000s were relegated to the middle of train consists after the Fort Totten crash, only when a 4000 Series car was at the head end of a train did it feel like I was on the Metrorail that I grew up with, complete with yellow and orange interior colors and the buzzing of the DC motors on the Breda cars. Those days have been over since July, and are truly over as of yesterday.
Photo caption: Breda 4052 (left) and Rohr 1124 at Gallery Place. As of yesterday, all of the 1000 Series and 4000 Series railcars have been removed from WMATA property to be scrapped. Photo taken February 16, 2004.
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 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.
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