GOVERNOR MALLOY CONTINUES INVESTMENT IN RAIL THROUGH PURCHASE OF 25 ADDITIONAL M-8 CARS FOR NEW HAVEN LINE
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced plans to purchase 25 more M-8 rail cars - adding to the 380 already on order - for use on the New Haven Line along the coastline in southwestern Connecticut, often cited as the busiest in the nation with 120,000 riders a day between New Haven and New York City.
"I have made a commitment to our commuters to do everything we can to improve service, safety and reliability on the New Haven Line," Governor Malloy said. "This past winter underscored the ongoing problems with our aging train fleet, with frequent breakdowns and many cars out of service on any given day. Investing now in additional rail cars will pay off for years to come. And, we will entice more commuters to leave their cars behind and hop on the train."
Adding the 25 cars to the existing 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 New Haven Line is owned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) and is operated under contract by Metro-North Railroad, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation authority (MTA) of New York. Under the contract, Connecticut pays 65 percent of all equipment costs and MTA/Metro-North pays the other 35 percent.
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 will ask the State Bond Commission to put the state's share on the agenda for the next meeting, scheduled for July 29.
There are currently 337 cars available for the New Haven Line (not counting the new M-8s), more than 230 of which are more than 40 years old. The 380 M-8s already on order will cost just over $1 billion and should all be in service by 2014. At present, 34 have been delivered to Connecticut.
"Working with our partners at the Connecticut DOT, we have come up with a plan that allows for the full retirement of the problematic and obsolete design of the M-4 and M-6 fleet," said Metro-North President Howard Permut. "This order will bring to 405 the number of new cars in service on the New Haven Line. This purchase, if approved by the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is a first for Metro-North. It will increase the efficiency of the fleet as a whole, offering maximum flexibility, while providing a modern, uniform electric fleet. While this car is good for the railroad's ability to operate efficiently, it is our customers who will reap the benefits of bigger windows, more comfortable seats, electrical outlets at every seat, large bathrooms that work, destination signs inside and out, a crystal clear public address system and overall elegant design."
"It makes far more economic sense to invest in new and much more reliable cars now, rather than trying to keep our aging fleet running for a few more years," Governor Malloy said. "Our commuters have been especially patient as we rebuild the fleet. We owe it to them to maintain our investments."
For Immediate Release: July 19, 2011
Contact: Colleen Flanagan
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