The Metropolitan Transit Authority has announced the addition of to its fleet serving the Metro-North New Haven Line.
The MTA has been for the past year to replace the older M2/M4/M6s, which have been in service for decades and are in worn condition.
According to the MTA's website, the six new cars brings the total number of M8s delivered to the New Haven Yard since May 2011 to 124, with 112 in service and 12 .
“Though the cars are coming later than we’d all hoped, they are being delivered at the promised rate of about ten cars a month… a pretty astounding accomplishment for [manufacturer] Kawasaki," said Jim Cameron, chairman of the Connecticut Metro-North Rail Commuter Council, in an emailed statement.
"I really think we have turned the corner from a decrepit, aging railroad that was over-crowded and had trouble maintaining service, especially in summer and winter," Cameron said. "Today, Metro-North is becoming a world class railroad with great new cars that are the envy of other railroads and an on-time recorded that’s second to none. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than a few years ago, and the railroad and CDOT deserve a lot of credit.”
The new M8s now represent 35.1% of the cars running on the New Haven Line Monday through Thursday; 33% on Friday; 53.8% on Saturday and 56.7% on Sunday, according to the MTA.
, the first 38 of which were built in Kobe, Japan and shipped in 2011. The state recently M8 cars bringing the total to 405. The remainder are now on order from Kawasaki Rail Car Inc., according to the MTA.
The new M8 cars from Kowasaki are reportedly "singles," as opposed to the "married pairs" currently being delivered. "This will provide the additional advantage of being able to add one car, instead of two, on trains and is a very efficient way to add capacity in order to meet ridership growth," the MTA states on its website.
The six new M8 cars went into service on July 2.
In addition the Connecticut Department of Transportation and MTA Metro-North Railroad have reportedly been testing two prototype bike mount systems specifically designed and manufactured for the M8 fleet by Sportworks.