Metro announced today that they have approved a contract worth $886m for Kawasaki! The money will go towards 428 giant, super duper fast motorcycles that can hold an enormous amount of people each. Of all of the ideas to improve the rail system, I think going with giant motorcycles is the best idea yet. I can’t wait to hear what the 1 trillion HP engines sound like on these babies when you open them up at full throttle! I wonder if the train operator can get these bad boys to do wheelies?
What’s that? Kawasaki builds rail cars too?? Ah, Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. You can see the confusion. So that means…they aren’t giant freaking motorcycles? Damn. Well, still cool. As long as they have sidecars.
Metro plans to replace 300 of their old Series 1000 cars with this new purchase and provide 128 new cars for the super Dulles rail extension. (Which speaking of, have you seen that project? It’s like they’re trying to finish it by Memorial Day or something!) This allows them to both fulfill the needs of the rail extension project and make Metro a significantly safer system, complying with the NTSB recommendation to give the old dangerous cars the boot. This should replace all Series 1000 cars out there.
These new Series 7000 cars (I can’t wait to see what the Series 10,000 cars might look like, I’m guessing they actually fly) have “crash energy management systems” and double the length of the car area that you can move through. Sort of like connecting two of the existing length cars, which is really cool. This adds capacity for 40 more people per train and also lets you walk a lot closer to the best exit door for where you need to get off. Because I know you pick your entry/exit door based on how close it’s going to be to the escalator you need when you get off. It also adds nerdy tech stuff like real-time location data of the train on an LCD map in each car. Love it.
Before you get all crazy excited about checking out the badass new LCD screens on your commute tomorrow, don’t. The first batch of Future-tron x7000 UltraMega cars will be coming in about 3 years, with all of them in service by 2016. But I still think it’s pretty sweet that Kawasaki is making them. I’m holding out for wheelies.