More M8 cars for Metro-North Railroad

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Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin.

The board of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has approved an order for up to 94 additional M8 metro cars from Kawasaki Rail Car.

The extra cars, of which 60 will be ordered now, will allow MTA to extend the M8 trains currently operating on the Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line and Canaan Branch line.

The order will also include the overhaul of 10 of MTA’s existing M8 units into buffet cars.

Unlike the older vehicles in MTA’s fleet, the new M8 trains will be capable of deploying Positive Train Control (PTC) without modification. They will also be equipped with security cameras in the driver’s cab – a measure which was introduced following a fatal derailment on the Metro-North Railroad in 2013.

“The approval of these additional railcars will improve service for commuters throughout the region on the nation’s busiest commuter rail line,” said the Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, in a statement released by MTA.

The M8 series trains are designed to run both on the third rail electrification system between Grand Central Terminal and Pelham, and the overhead catenary supply from Pelham to New Haven, Connecticut.

The first of the new cars, which are being built in Lincoln, Nebraska, will come into passenger service by 2019, allowing MTA to decommission the last 36 M2 cars.

MTA brought the first M8 units into service in 2011 and currently has 405 cars in its fleet. The new cars are being jointly funded by the State of Connecticut (65 per cent) and MTA (35 per cent).

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