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 Jeff Smith
From the MNRR page (to reiterate what's been posted):


Delivered to New Haven Yard Under Inspection and Testing by Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. Conditionally Accepted by Metro-North Railroad Information Provided
34 (total) 4 30 8/1/11
34 (total) 8 26 6/14/11
32 (total) 12 20 6/6/11
28 (total) 8 20 5/16/11

State of Connecticut & MTA/Metro-North Railroad Approve Purchase of 25 M-8 Single Rail Cars
Twenty-five new single M-8 rail cars will be added to the 380 M-8 rail cars already on order from Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. for use on the New Haven Line. Adding the 25 cars to the original order will ensure the best possible price. The new cars will be "singles," as opposed to the "married pairs" now being delivered. This will provide the additional advantage of being able to add one car instead of two, a very efficient way to add capacity on trains to meet ridership growth.

The 25 single cars will cost about $3.325 million each for a total of about $93 million; Connecticut's share will be $60.5 million and New York's will be $32.6 million. Governor Malloy received approval from the State Bond Commission on July 29, 2011 for the Connecticut share. The MTA Board approved the New York portion of the purchase on July 27, 2011.

The roll out of the new M-8s on the New Haven Line (NHL) continues. Of the 380 original order, the first 38 have been built in Kobe, Japan, and the remaining 342 are being built at Kawasaki's plant in Lincoln, Nebraska.

More M-8's In Service
A total of 30 new M-8 rail cars are in revenue service as of August 1, 2011 -- three 8-car train sets, which includes 212 more seats available for customers, with 6 spare cars for routine maintenance. Customers have 130 weekly trains in service with the new three M8 train sets (approximately 95 weekday and 36 on weekends). These trains operate during peak and off-peak service between New Haven to Grand Central Terminal

The new cars have received overwhelmingly positive customer feedback. Click here to see customer reaction: http://www.youtube.com/mtainfo#p/u/4/XC7TDH95gIg

M-8 Bike Rack Prototype
The Connecticut Department of Transportation and MTA Metro-North Railroad (MNR) will test bicycle hooks for use on the M-8 rail fleet later this year. The final two designs have been selected and will be fabricated by SportsWork, Inc. for installation and testing later this summer. The testing will include static tests in New York and Connecticut, as well as in-service testing on off-peak trains. More information will be available in the coming months.

Production Progress
The Lincoln plant was shut down for the month of April due to a production error with welds on brackets holding components to the underside of the cars. The brackets are made by several manufacturers near the Kawasaki plant in Kobe, Japan. The bracket problem is unrelated to the earthquake and will have no adverse impact on the Lincoln production line.
The bracket welds are not a safety concern, but could be a durability issue and therefore they will be replaced with uniform size and strength brackets that conform to design specifications
Production is underway at the Lincoln plant and the first cars are shipping from there in early August 2011.
The expectation is that there will be approximately 60 M-8 cars in service by the end of 2011.
  by Bill D
From the "Bar cars: end of an era?" thread: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 5&start=60
DutchRailnut wrote:on weekends they come in handy as bicycle cars.
Is there any provision on the M-8 cars for bicycles? Or are they just placed in the door vestibules as on the older cars?

  by DutchRailnut
On M-8 there are folding seats next to vestibule, and a few cars are equipped with bicycle racks (on trial basis)
  by Bill D
DutchRailnut wrote:On M-8 there are folding seats next to vestibule, and a few cars are equipped with bicycle racks (on trial basis)
Thanks for the info. I'll have to keep an eye out for the racks. Is there any indication on the car exterior that it is bike rack equipped?

  by lirr42
Mr. Railnut, by 'bike rack' I presume you mean these bike hook things in the handicapped section that was installed in some cars a while ago or has there been any new expansion/variation on this program?

  by DutchRailnut
your presumption is right.
  by DutchRailnut
about them Bike racks : http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/a ... 753672.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A ban on bicycles on trains during rush hour between 6 and 10 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. will remain in effect because of capacity concerns.
  by nomis
This is the splinter thread from the original M-8 thread :-)

From the MNR Updates on M8's
M8 Bike Rack Prototype
The Connecticut Department of Transportation and MTA Metro-North Railroad are conducting an extended test of a prototype bike mount system specifically designed and manufactured for the M-8 fleet. A total of 50 M-8 cars (odd car numbers 9101 through 9199) have been fitted with a pair of bicycle racks in order to gain additional feedback from customers before a decision is made on whether to expand installation of these racks to the remainder of the M-8 fleet. Customers can provide feedback at http://mta-nyc.custhelp.com/app/ask.
  by roysmith
I know the rules say no bikes on peak-hour trains, but how strictly is that enforced? From experience, the inbound 8:44 and 9:21 at Botanical Garden are nearly empty. I used to ride those every day, and can't remember a day when I didn't get a whole 6-seat "booth" to myself. If I brought a bike on the 8:44, is the conductor likely to throw me off the train, or do they have latitude to use common sense about that?
  by DutchRailnut
The Conductor and train man get paid for, and gets checked by supervision to enforce the rules, why jeopardize his job by putting him on the spot ?
  by truck6018
Not to mention management is known for reading these message boards. With that said, it wouldn't be far fetched that there will be spotters on the train by the time you are inclined to test the issue.
  by Nester
If they see it they will say something. A conductor on my Hudson Line train made an announcement and yelled down the platform to a guy who tried to board with one at Beacon on Friday. It doesn't happen often (as most folks know that you don't bring bikes on peak trains) but they're pretty good at spotting it and making sure the person doesn't get on with his or her bike.
  by RearOfSignal
Get a folding bike. Problem solved!
  by Nester
Folding bikes are great but they're considerably more expensive. I agree that it is the answer for most.