Hitachi Rail has announced that Washington County, Maryland, will be the location of its state-of-the-art train factory which will ensure the manufacturing of 8000-series rail car fleet for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro).
The facility is well located to serve the Washington metro area – and is 90 minutes from Metro’s Greenbelt Rail Yard, where the completed trains will be delivered. An important advantage of the location is that the Greater Hagerstown region is a major center for logistics and has excellent connections to the Northeastern United States and beyond.
The factory will develop a skilled new workforce, create a broad local supply chain and bring extensive economic value to the region. The facility’s building will cover 307,000 square feet – an area equivalent to the size of more than five football fields – and includes a large production area, warehouse and main office.
The manufacturing facilities will be built on a 41-acre plot, which will also be equipped with an 800-yard test track allowing dynamic testing of trains on site.
Having acquired the plot, near the growing Hopewell Valley industrial park in Washington County the next stage will involve preparing the land for construction. Once the process of grading the land is finished in the autumn, the construction of the factory will begin in earnest, with the site scheduled to be operational by the end of 2023 – beginning 2024.
When fully operational, the factory will be able to produce up to 20 rail cars per month on a single shift and have the capability to build trains of all different types, from trams and metros to high-speed trains.
The train plant will be equipped with digital technology to ensure that production, testing and the management of supplies can be optimised. These initiatives, combined with the high-quality training programme for employees, will allow the facility to produce trains to the highest standards of reliability and performance.
The plant will employ up to 460 people, sustaining 1,300 jobs in the region with 60% of construction value spent in DC, Maryland and Virginia. The new direct, indirect and induced jobs will command total earnings of USD 350 million per year, which will bring major economic benefits to the region.
The state-of-the-art train factory is part of a USD 2.2 billion contract signed in March 2021 for the supply of an initial 256 rail car fleet with additional options of up to 800 vehicles.