Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by mncommuter
Harlem and Hudson Lines Add Cars but Need Power
By Suzanne Daley
New York Times
March 7, 1984

New commuter cars arriving on the
Harlem and Hudson Lines will not run
fast enough unless new power stations
are built along those routes, the Metro-
North Commuter Railroad said yester-
The first 14 of 142 new M-3 cars will
be put into service on Monday on
express or semi-express routes, where
officials hope that limited stopping and
starting will keep the trains on their
published schedules. Because the new
cars accelerate 30 percent more slowly
than the old cars, officials said, they
would tall behind schedule on the local
The new cars, each costing about $1.1
million, were supposed to shorten the
travel time of some runs on the two
lines while providing extra seating and
replacing older equipment. But the
president of Metro-North, Peter E.
Stangl, said yesterday that because the
new cars were heavier they required
more power to accelerate quickly than
the system could supply.
The problem was discovered, Mr.
Stangl said, after the first batch of
M-3’s had been tested and inspected by
the Metropolitan Transportation Au-
thority, the agency that oversees
Criteria for New Cars
How the problem developed re-
mained unclear, but transit officials
said it was not the fault of the manufac-
turer, the Budd Company of Troy,
Mich. Budd said It had built the cars ac-
cording to specifications provided by
the railroad. The officials said they be-
lieved that the engineers who designed
the heavier, new cars were trying to
satisfy various criteria, including Fed-
eral safety standards.
The Harlem and Hudson lines link
New York City with Westchester, Put-
nam and Dutchess Counties as far as
Poughkeepsle and Dover Plains. On an
average wekday, 145,000 people use the
lines. Officials said that 700 riders had
to stand for lack of seats each day but
that the new cars should solve this
Since receiving the first cars three
months ago, Metro-North has been
testing them, separately and together
with older M-1 cars, trying to find a
way of putting then in service. The
cars can be run with the older cars, but
that does not solve the acceleration
At top speeds, the new cars run as
fast as the old ones and use about the
same amount of power, perage, of if-
cials said. But they take considerably
longer to reach top speed.
Although Metro-North is planning to
improve its power system by building
or rebuilding 32 substations in the next
three years, Mr. Stangl said that this
would still not be enough to run the cars
at their peak.
“I think we will definitely have to
add more power to see those cars work-
ing to their maximum potential,” Mr.
Stangl said. “We may well need some
additional money to build more substa-
Mr. Stangl said it was too soon to say
how many substations ‘would be be
needed or how much the extra work
might cost. A substation, transit offi-
cials said, costs between $2 million and
$3 rnllUon.
“As we put this stuff into service we
will be learning a little bit more about
it and we will be making adjustments,”
Mr. Stangl said.
Whether schedules will have to be
changed as more of the new cars arrive
remained unclear. Mr. Stangl said he
would have a more firm Idea of the
problem and Its possible solutions in
about three months.

Questions remained about just how
the M-3 cars had been chosen. Mr.
Stangl, who became president of the
railroad as it was being taken over
from Conrail in late 1982, said they
were ordered around January 1981.
“1 have not spent a lot of time going
back over the history of this,” he said.
“I just want to get the problem fixed.”
At Conrail, a spokesman, Frank LIb-
kind, said the ordering of the cars had
been the responsibility of the M.T.A.,
as Conrail was only acting as an oper-
ating agent for the authority.
At the M.T.A., David Z. Plavin, exec-
utive director, said he believed the cars
had to meet a number of criteria — in-
cluding matching the old M-1 cars as
closely as possible and meeting Fed-
eral crash standards.
The rest of the order of 142 cars Is ex-
pected to be delivered by October, Mr.
Stangl said, at a rate of about 20 cars a
month. Transit officials said it was too
late to correct the acceleration prab-
lern on the cars not yet delivered.
“The penalty in the short run,” Mr.
Stangl said, “Is basically as follows:
Where we might have been able to im-
prove certain schedules right now we
probably won’t be able to.
The Long Island Rail Road is also in
the process of receiving new M-3 cars,
but officials said that that railroad al-
ready had a stronger power system and
was not having the same problems as

  by DutchRailnut
In Brewster in 1985 we had to kill 4 cars (power) so a 8 car train could get out of the yard due to power constraints, after they raised the voltage (to lower the amps) the cars had to be restricted to abouyt 45% of their capacity, for trains to be able to run at all.
those M3's are 680 hp per car, now no substations are built or renewed as far as I know but now we got the M7's at 1150 hp per car ????
so were do you think they will get the power from ???