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The Breda A650 is an electric multiple unit heavy rail car purpose built for use on the Los Angeles County Metro Rail system. It was manufactured by Breda (now Hitachi Rail Italy) between 1988 and 1997 and is used on the Metro's Red and Purple Lines.

Breda A650
Ansaldobreda A650.jpg
Interior of Metro Purple Line Train.JPG
In service1993–present
Entered service1993–1998
Number built72
Formation2 cars per trainset
Capacity180 passengers per car (60 seated)
720 passengers (total; 4-car train)
1080 passengers (total; 6-car train)
Operator(s)Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Line(s) served Purple Line Purple Line
 Red Line Red Line
Car body constructionStainless steel
Train length450 ft (137.16 m) (6-car train)
Car length75 ft (22.86 m)
Width10 ft (3.05 m)
Height12 ft (3.66 m)
Floor height3.73 ft (1.14 m)
Doors6 per car, 3 on each side
Maximum speed70 mph (110 km/h)
Weight80,000 pounds (36,290 kg)
Traction systemFour General Electric "5GEB" 3 Phase, 4 pole, Asynchronous AC Traction Drives with GTO Inverters (post rehab)
Acceleration3 mph/s (4.4 ft/s2; 1.3 m/s2)
Deceleration2.2 mph/s (3.2 ft/s2; 0.98 m/s2)
Electric system(s)650–950 V DC Third rail
Current collection methodContact shoe
Safety system(s)Automatic Train Control, Automatic Train Protection
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge



The fleet of 72 vehicles was supplied in two orders. The first vehicles (fleet numbers 501–530) were built between 1988 and 1993 and are propelled by a DC traction system supplied by Westinghouse. The remaining vehicles (fleet numbers 531–604), were built between 1995 and 1997 and include AC propulsion and intercar safety barriers. The acceleration for this last group of cars is almost identical to that of the now retired 1000 series cars found on the Washington Metro because they both utilize the same General Electric traction motors.

These cars share a design very similar to the Budd Universal Transit Vehicle, which was built between 1982 and 1986 for the Baltimore Metro Subway and the Miami Metrorail.[2]

Costing $1.5 million each, the trains usually run in four to six car consists, and feature automatic train control, air conditioning, emergency intercoms, wheelchair spaces and emergency braking.

The fleet is maintained in a yard south of Union Station on Santa Fe Drive near 4th Street on the west bank of the Los Angeles River in Downtown Los Angeles.


The A650 series will be fully replaced in 2024. LACMTA has signed a contract with CRRC to acquire new heavy rail vehicles, dubbed the HR4000 series.

In popular cultureEdit

The Breda A650 was depicted as being burned in the tunnel between MacArthur Park and Metro Center in the 1997 film Volcano, when a lava flow through the tunnel killed nearly all on board. The A650 was featured in Speed when the emergency brake feature stops and the train derails. It is also featured in SWAT and The Italian Job. It is also seen taking a nosedive plummet from a mountain as the cataclysmic events of December 21, 2012, unfold in 2012. Because Los Angeles is the home of many television and production agencies, A650 subway cars are featured in countless commercials and TV shows.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Los Angeles HRV" (PDF). AnsaldoBreda. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  2. ^ "Los Angeles HRV" (PDF). AnsaldoBreda. 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2019-05-30.