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 benltrain
Along the Hudson and Harlem Lines which trains are most likely to have M7s? Or are they randomly weaved in with the older fleet?

  by Clean Cab
Most train assignments are set as to what type of equipment is used. But that gets changed when one or more trains get shopped, or swapped. The best time to catch an M7 is during either the morning or evening rush hours, particularily on trains that don't make too many stops.

  by benltrain
what if you are railfanning on a day trip from out of town and can't catch a rush train?

and if i can't catch a southeast express (assuming that would be the most skip stop) would a croton-harmon local or white plains local be more likely to have one?

sorry on a tight schedule... and already ridden the M1s and M3s. thanks.

  by Clean Cab
Your best bet would to be along the Harlem line. Almost all M1s are now out of service and better than 3/4 of the M7 fleet are in service. So I'd say check out the Harlem line if you're looking for M7s.

  by njtmnrrbuff
I'd be alert at all times on the Harlem and Hudson Line(electric territory). MUs cannot operate above Southeast or Croton Harmon. M7s can pop up on any any runs at any time. Everytime I've come home from school this year, I've ridden in them. You will see them daily on the Harlem below Southeast and on the Hudson below Harmon.

  by benltrain
on a side note... have m2/4/6s ever ventured to croton harmon or white plains in revenue service. do they often if so?

and about what percent of the harlem & hudson line electric fleet are M7s at this point?

  by Clean Cab
It is not that common to see New Haven line cars M2, M4 and M6s in revenue service on the Harlem and Hudson lines. There might be an M2 train that is being deadheaded to North White Plains for painting, or going to Southeast (Brewster) for any of several on going modification programs.

The last time New Haven line cars saw a fair amount of revenue service on the Harlem and Hudson was during the terribly cold winter of 2003/2004 when the ever dependable M2s came to the rescue of the crippled M1s.

  by MisterM7

You could always go to the LIRR we have them all over. Just go to Jamaica and you will see sometimes 4 or 5 M7s in the station at one time. Currently there are 500+ cars on the property. :-D

  by benltrain
i didn't know that LIRR had more.

can anybody guess the ratio of M7:M1/3 on metro-north and lirr? just trying to find where to look.

  by DutchRailnut
m3 = 140 cars m7's= 270 cars m1's not to many left

  by pnaw10
If you're trying to just "see" the M7's and get pictures, go to Croton-Harmon. Seems there are always some in the yard, even after the morning rush is over.

If you want to ride an M7, your best bet might be to get to 125th Street. All trains from all 3 lines go through here. If you buy a ticket to any given station on the Hudson or Harlem, it shouldn't be long before an M7 train headed in your direction comes along. To increase your odds, get a ticket for a station most trains stop at, such as Yonkers or White Plains, or go all the way up to Southeast or Croton-Harmon if time allows.

I wouldn't suggest trying to get an M7 out of Grand Central, as you could wind up having to do a lot of running around to check each train to see if it'll be an M7 or not. At least by going to 125th, you've got a 50% chance of being on the right platform to board an approaching M7... and if you're not, you should be able to see it coming far enough in advance to change platforms.

I'm not sure how much time you'll have or where you plan to "start" your railfanning from, so the above plan may not work out for you. But like I said, Croton Harmon yard seems to have plenty of M7's around within photo range of the platforms, even after the AM rush is over. It's just hard to tell which trains will be M7's or older models... so if you're looking to ride one, just buy a ticket and be prepared to wait awhile. It could be the next train, or it could be 3 trains later. I don't think the ticket window person will know what kind of equipment will be used on specific trains.

Anytime I've done one-day trips to the city in the past few years, I drive to Croton-Harmon and go from there because I know, no matter what time I arrive, the wait is no more than 20 or 30 minutes at the most.

Seems like I almost always get an M1 or M3 local going down to the city... and coming back up, again, whatever train happens to be leaving soonest. It's been about 50/50 between getting a Genny/Bomb train that's going all the way to Poughkeepsie, or getting an M7. Just the luck of the draw, I guess.

  by MisterM7

Not sure where you are starting your trip from and I don't know which rr you prefer MNCR or LIRR; however the highest numbered M7 pair i have seen in service on the LIRR is the 7555/7556. I saw 7578 waiting to be unloaded in Holban Yard, (the back of the Hillside facility).

Mineola on the Main Line is a good stop to take pictures. From Penn Station catch a Ronkonkoma or Huntington train.

Valley Stream is also a good place to take pictures. From Penn Station this usually requires a change at Jamaica to a Far Rockaway or Long Beach train.

Bellerose is also a good stop for pictures. From Penn Station this usually requires a change at Jamaica to a Hempstead train.

By the way these stops also have DE/DM30 and Bi-level push-pull consists passing by and you just may see the New York and Atlantic also.

I can't really say if the police will bother you, lately I think they have been ok.

Good luck.


  by N340SG

Add the LIRR forum to your list of forums to peruse.
There are continual updates on the status of that Railroad's fleet there. No guesswork is needed. Check the M-7 delivery thread.


  by benltrain
what are the chances of the following weekday off peak trains having M7s (guess obviously):
Croton-Harmon Local
White Plains Local
Southeast Express

  by Otto Vondrak
Your chances of seeing an M-7 train are greater than M-1's and M-3's, just go somewhere in third-rail territory and you'll find some to ride or just to see.