Maryland Transit to Purchase New Railcars

Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has received approval from the Maryland Board of Public Works for a $400.5 million contract to replace 78 railcars and to install a new train control safety system on the Metro SubwayLink system. The contract was awarded to Hitachi Ansaldo Baltimore Rail Partners.

"Safety of our passengers and our workers is the most important element of our work," said Kevin B. Quinn, acting MTA administrator. "Bringing these new, state-of-the-art railcars into service along with a new train control system under our BaltimoreLink plan are a key part of what we do to make travel safe and reliable."

The railcars and train control system currently in use on the Metro SubwayLink service are 35 years old and at the end of their useful life. The replacement project will provide a fleet of 78 new railcars operating under a new train control system.

The new railcar motors are more energy efficient and require less maintenance and will feature LED lighting, air conditioning and a new passenger information system. The cars will have bicycle tie-down areas and on-board cameras viewable in real-time by MTA Police and tie into MTA’s homeland security video surveillance system.

The new train control system will incorporate Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) technology, which allows precise automatic operation, allowing trains to operate at maximum allowable speeds. The system will provide MTA’s train dispatchers and maintainers with real-time performance and fault annunciation, reducing the time to restore normal operations during a system fault.