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Metro Railcar Upgrade Plan Faces Hurdle

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By David Schultz

Metro's plans to upgrade the safety of its trains using federal funding have hit an unexpected snag.

For years, Metro has been trying to purchase new rail cars to replace its old, 1000 series cars - the ones involved in last year's deadly crash on the Red Line.

In recent weeks, Metro finalized a landmark, billion dollar contract for new cars with the Japanese company Kawasaki.

But the Federal Transit Agency now says it won't give Metro funding for those cars because they're not being built in the U.S.

That violates the federal government's "Buy American" rule.

Metro's first payment to Kawasaki was due in two days on July 5th, but Metro says Kawasaki has pushed that back to next month so this all can be worked out.

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