For the past three or so years I've been following the developement of the next generation of DC metro cars. Kawasaki units are replacing the current units.
With the Introduction of the long awaited Silver line, the 7000 series will follow with units hopefully rolling out around this fall.
WMATA pulished this breiefing in January http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/ne…
The first 7000-series trains, which will all be eight-cars in length, are expected to enter service late this year. Unlike earlier railcar series that can be "mixed and matched" within a single train, the 7000-series cars will operate only with other 7000-series cars. The cars will also be in a "quad-unit configuration," meaning that the cars will operate in four-car sets, allowing the accommodation of 40 more passengers per eight-car train than an older models because of fewer operator compartments.
By 2018, more than half of Metrorail's fleet is expected to be comprised of 7000-series cars. Metro currently has 528 new railcars on order—300 to replace all 1000-series cars, fulfilling a recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board, plus an additional 128 cars to handle ridership growth as a result of the Silver Line. The 7000-series cars will run throughout the Metrorail system, on all lines. Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles has announced that, as part of Metro's 2025 strategic plan, the Authority hopes to order another 220 cars in 2015 to provide more eight-car trains (the longest possible length) for more capacity during peak periods.
"Metro's Board has adopted a strategic plan that first maximizes the capacity that we have on the system by operating more eight-car trains to serve today's riders and prepare for growing demand," said Metro Board Chair Tom Downs. "We look forward to operating these new cars on every Metro line, including the Silver Line, which will begin service this year.
I'm excited and you should be as well, as much as I love the silver and brown it's not the 70's any longer, and I would love to take a current generation unit to have in my backyard for personal use.