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New M-8 rail cars have begun operating on MTA Metro-North Railroad's New Canaan branch, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced yesterday.The cars will affect two morning departures from New Caanan and two evening departures from Grand Central Terminal. The addition of the new cars is "an important step toward improving the safety and enhancing the experience for Metro-North commuters," Malloy said in a press release."It is also part of the ongoing dialogue we need to have with Connecticut residents about how we can transform our roads, our rail, and our infrastructure to meet the demands of our changing and evolving economy," he said.The new cars will help meet increasing demand on the New Haven Line branch, Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) officials said. According to a department study, the projected effect will be a 44 percent increase in branch ridership over the next 15 years.Nearly all New Haven Line trains now are operating with the M-8s. Cars for the New Haven Line will continue to be delivered with all 380 electric models accepted, with the first two of 25 new, single, non-powered cars already in service at the New Canaan branch. About 94 percent of the mainline electric trains are M-8s and 100 percent of the regularly scheduled weekend mainline electric trains are M-8s, CTDOT officials said.
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