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 BenH
A minor point... but does anyone know if the request for proposal that was sent to the qualified vendors included new "bar cars?"

  by Clean Cab
Ruomr has it that there will be "Bar Cars" but not the full legnth ones we're used to seeing. Probably a part of the middle of a car will have the kind of bar set up seen on MN Bomb cars.
There was a lot of complaining from the riding public when the M7's first appeared on the LIRR and MN about the arm rest that was upward turned and would grab pockets on your pants and rip them accordingly. There was also numerous mumblings about the width of seat vs current width's.

  by DutchRailnut
When watching trains go by in rush hour see how many center seats are used on three seater ?? one or two on 8 car train.
Maybe MTA would be better off with 2x2 seating and more standing room.
It would be better for ADA and basicly same amount of occupied seats.
someone should take bunch of pictures to proof the point to MTA.

  by transitosapien
2x2 seating could enhance revenue collection, too, I think. It'd be easier for the crews to squeeze past the standees if the aisles were wider.

  by mncommuter
Personally, I'd rather stand or sit on the floor, rather than sit in the middle of a 3-seater. But plenty of people do if it's all that's available, and I'm sure Metro-North would rather squeeze as many fares into a railcar as they can

  by Clean Cab
We'll all just have to wait and see. Right now the "M8s" are not much more than a couple of hundred pages of written proposals. They will use the M7 car body but it will be quite different inside and out.

Cape Cod and Jay:When a drawing or design is made public please let us know where to find it. I realize that MNCR would like to replace all the M2s. Will the newer M4 and M6 cars be kept-I suspect they will. Will the order be as in past NH car orders 50/50 MTA/CDOT? If enough cars are ordered or in service the SLE can become all-electric - will it be worth equipping the M4 and M6 to allow them to change from 11 to 25KV on the fly? Lets see how this topic pans out! MACTRAXX

  by DutchRailnut
The split for order will be more like 35/65 MTA/CDOT. since the New Haven line is about split that way.

  by boston774
capecodlocoguy wrote:We'll all just have to wait and see. Right now the "M8s" are not much more than a couple of hundred pages of written proposals. They will use the M7 car body but it will be quite different inside and out.
One thing I may have missed - is there an actual design for an M8? Or is it just a specification and RFP?

If there isn't a design, I'd be shocked if we see anything before 2010/11.

  by Clean Cab
Right now, there is only a written proposal and a few pictures. Once a bulider is awarded the contract, work will begin on the "Proof Of Design" prototype. That could be as early as mid 2008, if all goes well.

The MTA and CDOT will split the order 1/3 for the MTA 2/3 for CDOT. The total number of cars is tentatively set at 342, but followup orders are almost a certainty.

Even when all 342 M8s are in service (by late 2010) the M2s will begin a slow phase out. Current specs call for the last M2 to be retired in 2014.

Once the CSR (Critical Systems Replacement) program in New Haven finishes overhauling all the M2s (including cleaning out the cars in the "Bone Yard") they will begin overhauling the M4s, then M6s. There is currently no plan to retire the M4s & M6s any time soon. They will run together but will not be compatible with the M8s.

  by Nasadowsk
They're actually insisting on a prototype, as opposed to a 'fleet leader' that simply arrives a few weeks early?

Sounds like either someone's really thinking long and hard about the design, something new and different's being tried that's radical enough to justify a prototype, or someone has _no_ confidence in the design as proposed.

Are the specs going to be posted online via pdf, like Septa did with their Silverliner V order, or are we stuck in WAG/rumor mode for now?

  by Clean Cab
Since the M8s will be operating on so many different voltages, and require things like a pantograph on its roof and have Amtrak's ACSES cab signal system installed, a completely new design is thought to be required. Plus there maybe things on the M7s that CDOT may wish to change.

Yes, Bombardier did offer to modify the M7 for multi-voltage use, but due to bidding requirements per state law, it was decided to build a new vehicle from the ground up adding time to the whole process.

If I were to make an educated guess, I'd say that Bombardier is the odds on favorite to win the bidding, and they will persuade MN to just go ahead with the exsisting M7 configuration with some minor changes to allow for multi-voltage operation.

I doubt whether the final design specs will be available to the general public.