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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Connecticut receives first two new rail cars for Metro-North service


The day before Christmas, the state of Connecticut took delivery of the first two M8 rail cars manufactured by Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. in Japan.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation has ordered 300 cars to replace most of its current fleet of 343 M2, M4 and M6 cars, some of which were built in 1976. The cars are operated by MTA Metro-North Railroad.

The pilot M8 cars will undergo four to six months of testing before entering passenger service in late 2010. Additional cars will be delivered this winter at a rate of 10 per month. The bulk of the order will be manufactured at Kawasaki’s Lincoln, Neb., plant.

The cars feature GPS equipment, redundant HVAC systems, light-emitting diode displays and automated public-address systems.