Kawasaki Rail Car M8 electric multiple-unit.

USA: An order for 60 more Kawasaki Rail Car Type M8 electric multiple-unit cars to increase capacity on Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line was approved by the New York MTA board on November 16.

There is an option for a further 34 cars, and the base order is also expected to include the conversion of 10 existing M8 cars into café cars. The new cars are being funded by the state of Connecticut (65%) and MTA’s capital programme (35%), while the café cars are being funded entirely by Connecticut.

The new cars are to be manufactured in Lincoln, Nebraska, for entry into service in three years. Supplementing 405 M8 cars ordered from 2006 and introduced from 2011, the additional vehicles will enable peak trains to be lengthened to accommodate growing ridership, and will also allow the last 36 older M2 cars to be withdrawn.

The M8 EMUs can take power from the 750 V DC third rail between Pelham and Grand Central Terminal, and from 12·5 kV 60 Hz overhead on the New Haven Line and New Canaan branch as well as 25 kV 60 Hz on the Shore Line East route east of New Haven.

MTA said its existing M8 cars have improved customer satisfaction and demonstrated reliability ‘far in excess of expectations’, averaging 740 744 km between mechanical breakdowns during September. MTA said this was ‘the best rate for New Haven Line cars in decades’ and 53% above target.

The existing M8 cars are being retrofitted with CCTV and Positive Train Control, which the latest cars will include from new.