The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority sent out a video this morning of General Manager Richard Sarles giving a tour of Metrorail’s forthcoming 7000-series rail car. We first wrote about the new model back in January 2008 back when it was still on the drawing board.
In the video today, Sarles shows off several of the upgrades offered by the 7000-series cars, which were designed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company of Japan and are being built in Lincoln, Neb. Among the improvements, Sarles says, are more comfortable seats, more poles for straphangers to grasp when the cars are full and LCD screens that when, Sarles says, “you arrive at a station will tell you not only that you’re at that station but what you can find at that station.”
Another feature of the new cars, an overhead display that shows the location of a train relative to the rest of the line, so less-informed riders (i.e., tourists) will know just how many stops away from their destination they are. (Of course, the standard operating procedure for answering the timeworn question, “Does this train go to Dupont Circle?” should still be to reply in the affirmative, regardless of a train’s actual direction.)
But look at the display Sarles is celebrating. Set up for the Red Line, it includes stops such as “Farrabut North” and “Woodlley Park.” Hopefully Metro will fix those spelling errors by the time the 7000-series hits the rails next year. Otherwise, riders might find themselves en route to the pornographic parody of Beau Willimon’s play about the travails of working for a presidential campaign.
And can we talk about the music that introduces Sarles’ tour of the car? It’s Action. Packed. Like the swashbuckling score from a summer blockbuster.
See Metrorail’s ergonomically upgraded but poorly spelled future below: