The long awaited M8 cars, or should I say car, has arrived on the beleauguered New Haven Line (BNHL). The first car departed Stamford at 10:30 this morning and buzzed into GCT 66 minutes later.
It then departed Grand Central at 2:10, arriving in Stamford at 3:17.
Metro-North plans on rolling out 380 new M8s to replace the shitty old cars on the New Haven Line, though it doesn’t appear that the long delayed rollout will conclude until close to 2014. New cars will be introduced “as soon as they complete individual quality assurance testing,” the railroad said in a statement. The rough schedule looks like this:
The New Haven Line’s 63,000 daily customers can expect 26 M-8 cars to be in service this spring. By the end of the year, about 80 M-8s will be in service. The roll out will continue at a rate of about 10 cars a month and will continue until all 380 cars are in service in the third quarter of 2013.
The M8 cars go the M7s on the Hudson and Harlem Line one better. Says MNR:
While the cars are complex, computer-controlled machines, what customers will notice are roomier, high-back, contoured seats with individual headrests, curved arm rests anchored at both ends in the upholstery. They will see larger windows and better lighting, especially in the vestibules for improved safety. The cars also are equipped with an intercom system that customers can use to contact the crew in emergencies. Other features include LED displays that show the next stop and automated audio announcements. Each seat is outfitted with electrical outlets, grab bars, coat hooks and curvaceous luggage racks. The color scheme is a vibrant red,
the historical color of the New Haven Railroad, predecessor to Metro-North.
Outside, customers will see prominent electronic destination signs and external public address speakers. Single leaf doors provide high reliability and less susceptibility to snow intrusion.
The New Haven Line continues to run on a limited schedule during peak hours as its 40-year-old cars are getting repaired in the shop. The regular schedule resumes March 7.