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WMATA

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is the primary regional transit operator in the Washington, DC region.  It operates Metrorail and Metrobus services throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia  The Metrorail system in 1969 and it opened on March 27, 1976 and has since expanded to 91 stations and 117 miles of track.  Metro is recognized by locals and tourists alike for its carpeted trains, cushioned seats, and high arched vault station designs, though the carpet is being removed from the older trains and the newest trains never had it installed.  Metrorail trains can operate at speeds of up to 75 MPH and have automatic train operation such that the on board train operator only closes the doors and makes station announcements.  However, following the 2009 Fort Totten crash, trains have been operated in manual mode indefinitely (as of 2015, some 8 car trains on the Red Line have returned to automatic operation).

WMATA also operates fixed route bus service under the Metrobus banner.  Metrobus was founded in 1973 when WMATA bought out the four remaining bus companies that were still operating in the area.  WMATA now operates a fleet of over 1,500 buses on over 300 routes to over 12,000 bus stops throughout the region.  At various times, the Metrobus fleet has been dominated by one manufacturer.  New Flyer built many of the units currently in service, but prior to this the Metrobus fleet was dominated by Orions and before that by Flxibles.

WMATA Metrorail Rohr "1000 Series" Cars

The WMATA 1000 Series was one of the few contracts that Rohr received while in the railcar construction business. The 300 Rohr cars were the original cars for the Metrorail system and entered service in 1976 when the system opened. They received a general overhaul in the early 1990s, at which time AC traction motors were installed. The Rohrs were restricted to operating in the middle of train consists after the June 2009 Fort Totten crash, but this move appears to have been nothing but a public relations stunt over concerns about the structural integrity of the cars being stronger if they were not on the ends of the consists. The 1000 Series were gradually retired starting in the spring of 2016 as the Kawasaki 7000 Series cars arrived to replace them. The final 1000 Series cars were decommissioned on June 25, 2017. They were all sold for scrap with the exception of the 1000/1001 pair, which is being preserved by WMATA.

WMATA Metrorail "Original" Breda 2000/3000/4000 Series Cars

The "original" WMATA Breda cars consist of the 2000 Series and 3000 Series cars before their rehab, as well as the 4000 Series. The 2000 Series cars were delivered between 1981 and 1983. They came with cam controllers and DC motors, had fewer seats than the Rohr 1000 Series cars and flip dot destination signs, among other features. The 3000 Series cars had chopper controllers but otherwise looked to be virtually identical to the 2000 Series cars when they were delivered between 1984 and 1988. The 4000 Series cars were delivered in between 1991 and 1993. These cars had a few cosmetic changes from the earlier 2000 Series and 3000 Series cars. The 2000 Series and 3000 Series cars were rehabilitated starting in 2002. As of November 2016, the 4000 Series cars, like the 1000 Series cars were following the 2009 Fort Totten Collision, were only being used in the middle of consists due to safety concerns about running these cars at the front or rear of trains. Although it had been planned to rehab the 4000 Series cars, WMATA ultimately decided to order additional 7000 Series cars and retire the 4000 Series cars instead. The 4000 Series cars were gradually withdrawn from service beginning in February 2017 and the last cars were decommissioned on June 25, 2017.

WMATA Metrorail Rehabilitated Breda 2000/3000 Series Cars

Starting in 2002 and continuing through mid-2008, Alstom rehabbed the 2000 Series and 3000 Series cars to extend their lifespans. The rehab included installing AC motors and LED signage including interior next station indicator, and the updated interior colors that debuted on the 5000 Series cars. The rehab also eliminated the minor differences between the 2000 Series and 3000 Series cars, making them a single car type for all intents and purposes.

WMATA Metrorail CAF 5000 Series Cars

The WMATA 5000 Series cars were built by CAF, marking the company's first railcar contract in the United States. The CAFs entered service in 2001, and delivery of all 192 cars was completed in mid-2004. The CAF cars were the first to feature the updated Potomac Blue, Colonial Burgundy, and Chesapeake Sand interior colors, and were also the first to feature LED exterior destination signage, interior LED displays to indicate the next stop, and an on board computer to monitor train diagnostics. The 5000 Series cars have been plagued by various maintenance issues to the point that WMATA has opted to retire them rather than rehab them. An option order of 7000 Series cars was exercised in order to facilitate their early retirement.

WMATA Metrorail Alstom 6000 Series Cars

WMATA ordered 184 cars from Alstom, the same company that rehabbed the 2000 Series and 3000 Series cars. The 6000 Series entered service in October 2006. They had a further reduction in the number of seats from the 2000 Series, 3000 Series, 4000 Series, and 5000 Series, fewer windscreens, additional interior LEDs, and some other cosmetic changes.

WMATA Metrorail Kawasaki 7000 Series Cars

WMATA ordered 528 7000 Series cars from Kawasaki to replace the 1000 Series, 4000 Series, and 5000 Series fleets. The 7000 Series is quite different from the preceding railcar orders that WMATA has made. The cars are built from stainless steel rather than aluminum. They feature the new "disco ball logo" rather than the traditional brown stripe along the sides. The trains have a new interior color scheme, automated announcements, multiple interior LED and LCD displays, an updated cab layout, and many other features that make them incompatible with the older rolling stock. They also can only run in 4 or 8 car trains, whereas the older equipment can also be run in 2 and 6 car trains. The first 7000 Series train entered service in April 2015.

WMATA Work Trains

WMATA Metrorail Stations

As of 2014, WMATA has 91 stations. While there is some variation in the station designs, many design aspects are carried across each of these variations. Nearly every underground station is located in a long vault with a high arched ceiling. Surface and elevated stations tend to incorporate motifs of the underground stations in their design. All platforms have red hexagonal tiles and flashing lights on the platform edge to warn of approaching trains. Many stations have Metro's iconic brown pylons featuring the station name and strip maps. While some may say that WMATA's station design lacks diversity, one can certainly find differences in the station design if one looks hard enough.

WMATA Metrorail Yards & Shops

Metrorail has shop and yard facilities located at Alexandria (near King Street Station), West Falls Church, Shady Grove, Glenmont, Brentwood (between New York Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue stations), Greenbelt, New Carrollton, and Branch Avenue.

WMATA Metrobus Flxible Metro-B Buses

The Flxible Metro-B was a mainstay of the WMATA fleet through the 1990s and in to the 2000s. Some of them even remained in the reserve fleet until 2011, though their numbers were limited by mid-2005. 9343 was painted silver to commemorate Metrobus's 25th anniversary, but was ultimately repainted in to the "third scheme."

WMATA Metrobus Flxible Metro-D Buses

WMATA ordered Flxible Metro-D buses in the mid-1990s. These buses were notable for their rooftop air conditioning units.

WMATA Metrobus Flxible Metro-E Buses

WMATA ordered 104 Flxible Metro-Es in 1995. These were among the last buses that the Flxible Corporation ever manufactured. They were rehabbed around 2001 at which time they were repainted in to the "third scheme."

WMATA Metrobus Orion II Buses

WMATA ordered Orion II buses to run on some of its lower demand routes and routes that operated on narrow residential streets in 1999.

WMATA Metrobus 1992 Orion V Buses

WMATA ordered its first Orion V buses in 1992, breaking from a string of consecutive orders of Flxible Metro buses. The 1992 Orion Vs would be rehabbed and repowered before ultimately being retired in the early 2000s.

WMATA Metrobus 1997 Orion V Buses

WMATA bought additional Orion Vs that were delivered in 1997. These were the first buses to be delivered in the "third scheme" and the first to have CleverDevices installed. They originally came with Vultron destination signs. However, these were very unreliable and difficult to read, and were replaced with orange TwinVision LED signs in the early to mid 2000s. They remain in service, albeit in dwindling numbers, as of late 2015.

WMATA Metrobus 1999 Orion V Buses

In 1999, WMATA ordered 30 foot Orion V buses to operate on some of its lower capacity routes. Like the 1997 Orions, these buses featured Vulton destination signs that were ultimately replaced with TwinVision LED signs due to their unreliability. These buses were retired in 2012 but then continued to operate for Montgomery County Ride On for another two years.

WMATA Metrobus 2000 Orion V Buses

WMATA ordered additional Orion Vs in 2000. These came with more reliable signs than the 1997 models, but they were replaced with Twinvision orange LEDs as well. They have run from just about every division during their lifetimes and remain in service as of late 2015.

WMATA Metrobus 2000 Orion VI Buses

WMATA introduced the Orion VI to its fleet in 2000. These buses featured a full length low floor and a rear window, the first WMATA bus to have one in many years. However, after several buses caught fire in 2012, they were withdrawn from service.

WMATA Metrobus 2006 Orion VII/CNG Buses

WMATA ordered Orion VII/CNG buses in 2006. Most of these buses were assigned to the Four Mile Run division in Virginia, as that division had recently been modified to handle CNG buses. However, others were assigned to Bladensburg, the only other Metrobus division with CNG fueling capabilities. They were repainted in to the "MetroLocal" and "MetroExtra" paint schemes in 2014.

WMATA Metrobus 2009 Orion VII/HEV Buses

WMATA ordered its only Orion VII/HEV buses in 2009 to replace the remaining 30 foot "baby" Flxibles.

WMATA Metrobus New Flyer C40LF & C40LFR Buses

WMATA ordered its first New Flyer and first CNG buses of any kind in 2002. They have all operated from the Bladensburg Division for the duration of their service lives. These buses were rehabilitated in 2008 and 2009, at which point they were repainted in to the "MetroLocal" scheme. They were retired upon the arrival of the XN40 buses in 2016. WMATA ordered 25 C40LFR buses in 2007. These were the first buses to appear in a "MetroExtra" scheme of any kind, though it isn't the scheme that is currently being used. As these buses were rehabbed in 2015, they were repainted in to the current "MetroExtra" and "MetroLocal" schemes.

WMATA Metrobus New Flyer DE40LF & DE40LFR Buses

While the District of Columbia and Virginia opted to construct CNG fueling facilities at their Metrobus divisions, Maryland opted not to do so. Instead, Maryland financed the purchase of hybrid electric buses. The first of these buses, the New Flyer DE40LF buses, arrived in 2005 and were rehabbed in 2014 and 2015. The DE40LFR buses arrived in 2006 and were rehabbed in 2013.

WMATA Metrobus New Flyer D40LFR Buses

WMATA ordered its first clean diesel buses in 2006. The arrival of these buses enabled WMATA to retire the last of its non-lift equipped buses and operate a fully handicapped accessible fleet.

WMATA Metrobus New Flyer DE40LFA Buses

WMATA ordered the DE40LFA buses in 2008. These buses began receiving rehabs towards the end of 2015.

WMATA Metrobus New Flyer DE60LFA Buses

WMATA's first hybrid electric articulated buses were ordered in 2009. They replaced the older NABI IKraus articulated buses. As of early 2016, most are based at Montgomery Division.

WMATA Metrobus New Flyer XDE40 Buses

WMATA ordered it's first "Excelsior" model buses from New Flyer in 2011. These are hybrids being supplemented by an additional order of identical buses that entered service in early 2016.

WMATA Metrobus New Flyer XDE60 Buses

WMATA began to take delivery of 21 New Flyer XDE60 buses in late 2015 to replace the Neoplan AN460As. These are WMATA's first "Xcelsior" articulated buses. As of late 2015, they are all assigned to Northern Division.

WMATA Metrobus Neoplan AN460A Articulated Buses

The Neoplan AN460A order was made in 2002 and consisted of 21 buses to replace the MAN articulated buses that dated back to the 1980s. These were the last high floor buses that WMATA ever ordered. Only 4 buses were rehabbed due to a lack of parts after Neoplan went out of business, however they were all repainted in to the "MetroLocal" scheme. They spent their entire service lives at Northern Division and will be retired in early 2016 as the New Flyer XDE60 buses arrive.

WMATA Metrobus 1995 NABI American Ikarus 436.06 Articulated Buses

WMATA ordered these buses to replace their MAN articulated buses. These buses were retired in 2008 upon the arrival of the NABI 60-BRT articulated buses.

WMATA Metrobus 2008 NABI 60-BRT/CNG Articulated Buses

WMATA ordered NABI 60-BRT articulated buses in 2008 to replacing its aging NABI Ikarus articulated buses. These were the first articulated CNG buses in the WMATA fleet and were also the first to be delivered in the current "MetroLocal"/"MetroExtra" scheme. Their rehabilitation took place starting in 2015.

WMATA Metrobus 2014 NABI 42 BRT Hybrid Buses

WMATA ordered 105 NABI hybrid buses that arrived in 2014. Some of them are dedicated to service on the "Metroway" BRT corridor in Crystal City and Alexandria. Additional buses of this type were ordered, but upon New Flyer's takeover of NABI, the remaining units on order were changed to be New Flyer "Xcelsior" buses.

WMATA Metrobus Gillig Phantom Buses

The DC government funded the purchase of Gillig Phantoms in the late 1980s. These buses ran solely within the District of Columbia until their retirement in 2001.

WMATA Metrobus GMC Old Look Buses

WMATA retired its last GMC Old Look buses in the summer of 2000.

WMATA Metrobus GMC Fishbowl Buses

WMATA retired its last GMC "Fishbowl" buses in the summer of 2000. One unit remains in WMATA's historic fleet.

WMATA Metrobus GMC RTS Buses

WMATA had a sizable fleet of RTS buses up until their retirement in 2001. However, their tenure was not without issue. At one point, the fleet had to be pulled due to the rear doors opening unexpectedly while the buses were in motion. However, these issues were ultimately resolved and the buses were returned to service. Bus 9112, the only RTS to have a suburban interior configuration, is still in the historic fleet.

WMATA Metrobus Facilities

As of 2015, WMATA has 9 operating divisions. Two are in Virginia, three are in Maryland, and the remainder are in the District of Columbia. In addition, buses are delivered to and stored following retirement at the Carmen E. Turner facility in Landover, MD.