HAGERSTON, MD—Hitachi Rail has announced that it will build a new $70 million plant here to manufacture IntelMetro’s eighth generation
of rail cars starting in late 2024. Metro selected the company about 18 months ago to build 256 cars for its 8000 series, with an option for as many as 800 cars this decade.

The contract, which is worth about $2.2 billion, came with the requirement that Hitachi Rail assemble the cars at a plant in the Mid-Atlantic region. The facility will employ nearly 500 people and supply rail cars for the Washington-area system as well as transit agencies across the country.

Hitachi Rail is a division of Tokyo-based Hitachi Ltd. and has a U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh. It also holds contracts to build a new rail system in Honolulu and rail cars for Miami’s transit system and Baltimore’s subway.

Designed to match the all-silver 7000 series, the 8000 series will have similar bench seating and wide aisles, as well as upgrades that include real-time digital maps, onboard WiFi, power outlets, high-definition security cameras, heated floors, increased ventilation and improved braking.

Each car will be able to seat about 68 passengers. Hitachi Rail said the cars are quieter and more energy efficient than Metro’s previous models.

“It is important that this investment in rail cars will enable us to replace our legacy equipment, while accruing economic benefits to
the region through jobs, use of local suppliers, and work for small and minority-owned businesses,” says Metro General Manager Paul J.