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DOT and Metro-North Announce Distribution of New Haven Line Rail Car Bid Specifications

Governor Rell Hails as “Significant Step Forward”

The Connecticut Department of Transportation and MTA Metro-North Railroad today announced that detailed technical specifications have been released to three companies qualified to bid on the manufacture of new rail cars for the New Haven Line.

The delivery of the specifications was made on schedule to the three companies that expressed interest in developing proposals for the new M-8 rail cars.  The companies are: Bombardier Transit Corporation, Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc., and Siemens Transportation Group. 

The project will be managed by Metro-North in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  The car purchase is jointly funded by the States of Connecticut and New York.  As outlined in the service agreement that exists between the two states, Connecticut will pay 65 percent of the purchase price, New York’s share will be 35 percent. These percentages are based on each state’s ridership levels.

"The development and release of these bid specifications is a significant step forward,” said Governor M. Jodi Rell.  “We are aggressively moving forward to modernize the Metro-North commuter rail system as quickly as possible.  This milestone was reached on time – and that is my expectation for the rest of this extensive project.”

“This is a new day for the State of Connecticut and our 110,000 daily commuters who ride the New Haven and Branch Line.  It would not have been possible without the support and commitment of Governor Rell and the State Legislature to allocate the necessary funding to rebuild Connecticut’s public transportation system,” said Commissioner Stephen E. Korta II.  “This next step in the procurement process is a very important component that will start the selection of a vendor to build the new rail cars, and we look forward to their arrival in the years ahead.

“The employees of Metro-North are eager to provide New Haven Line customers with more comfortable and reliable service.  Purchasing new railcars is essential to achieving this goal,” said Metro-North President Peter A. Cannito.  “This week, we have taken another important step toward giving our New Haven Line customers higher quality service and I am delighted that we are remaining on schedule to sign a contract for new railcars this spring.”

The delivery of the specifications this week is the latest step in progressing the purchase, manufacture and delivery of as many as 342 new M-8 rail cars for the New Haven Line.  The project remains on an aggressive schedule that was set earlier this year with delivery of the first cars expected to begin in late 2008.

The technical specifications for the electrical and mechanical parts of the car will closely follow the pattern that was set with the new railcars currently in use on the Hudson and Harlem Lines in New York State.  These M-7 cars have proven to be very reliable, routinely operating more than 200,000 miles between failures.  The cars also were designed to create redundancy of critical systems and to shelter weather-sensitive components within the car body, increasing reliability.  The older rail cars currently in use, (M-2 through M-6) were designed with these critical weather components underneath the car and exposed to the elements.

A special consultant has been retained to create the interior customer environment.  The design will be completed within the next month and tested through customer focus groups.