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M8 Electric Multiple Unit Railcar
The M8 is an electric multiple unit railroad car built by Kawasaki for use on the New Haven Line of the Metro-North Railroad. It replaced the fleet of 244 M2s which entered service in 1973-74, as well as 54 M4s and 48 M6s which entered service in 1987-88 and 1994 respectively.

Design
The M8 is similar in design to the M7 car used on the Harlem Line and the Hudson Line. Like the M7, the M8 is able to pick up 750 Volt DC direct current power from under-runing third rail for operation along the New Haven Line from Grand Central Terminal to Pelham, where the traction power source is transferred to the overhead catenary wire, the overhead wire is at a nominal 12.5 kV AC power from overhead lines via Pantographs for operation from Pelham, New York to New Haven, Connecticut (as well as along the New Canaan Branch), and 25 kV AC power from catenary for operation along the Shore Line East route east of New Haven to New London, Conn. Unlike in earlier classes, changeover between the two AC voltages can be made by the engineer while on the move.

In response to rising number of people seeking to use their bicycle to solve the "last mile" problem between Metro-North stations and destinations, ConnDOT has pledged to provide hooks for storage of two bicycles in the disabled riders area of each rail car. In the event that a disabled rider boards a car, all cyclists must move their bicycles to the entry vestibule. In spite of the hook installation, during peak travel periods only folding bicycles are permitted aboard most Metro North trains.

The exterior design of the new M8 rail car is red, in keeping with the traditional exterior color of the New Haven Line rail cars. The body shape is similar to the M7 rail cars that are in operation on the Hudson and Harlem lines.

Delivery schedule
The Connecticut Department of Transportation order consists of 300 cars, with an 80-car option order. This option was approved on August 11, 2010. Full production of the M8's was scheduled to begin in early 2010 but has since been delayed. Kawasaki has cited problems with steel suppliers and sub-contractors (which is responsible for 60% of the cars). Once production is at full output the cars will be delivered at a rate of ten per month.

In December 2010 the first 24 cars were received and began to undergo testing.

The cars were originally supposed to go into revenue service in December 2010, however, because of technical problems, revenue service was deferred until March 1, 2011. The first run of the initial 8-car set (consisting of cars 9114, 9115, 9116, 9117, 9112, 9113, 9108, and 9109) originated in Stamford at 10:30 am, arriving in Grand Central Terminal at 11:28 am. A total of ten 8-car train sets were slated to enter service by the end of the year.

On May 7, 2011, Kawasaki announced that deliveries of 20 cars of the 80 scheduled to enter service by the end of the year would be delayed due to supply problems; Kawasaki said it would build the cars at a later date and absorb the costs incurred. At the time of the announcement, 16 cars had entered service, with an additional ten delivered but not yet in service.

Two months later, an investigative report by WABC-TV's news operation examined correspondence between Kawasaki and Metro-North over the delays in introducing the cars. At the time it had been claimed the cars merely had software problems, but the documents reporters obtained under New York's Freedom of Information Law showed Kawasaki repeatedly asking for deadline extensions over issues such as bad weather and financial difficulties at the company that supplied the onboard toilets. Railroad officials complained in emails reviewed by the channel that some of the requests "defied logic" and were a waste of time. Kawasaki said such multiple delays were "not unusual given the complexity of the cars and suppliers" and were often beyond their control.

On July 20, 2011, the Connecticut Department of Transportation announced the order of 25 non-powered M8 railcars, with options for up to 25 more, at a cost of $93 million to replace the 48 car M6 fleet.

On October 16, 2012, Metro-North announced that they would be installing 15 weekday and 30 weekend M8 trains to their schedule to accommodate increased ridership.

On January 29, 2014, the MTA board approved a miscellaneous procurement to purchase three additional M8 cars (one pair and one additional B car; to replace cars lost in the Fairfield Crash), twelve car trucks, spare parts, additional bench test equipment and repairs to four additional M8s. Of the total cost of $36 million, $8.4 million will be funded by a credit from Kawasaki in the original contract. The remainder will be funded by Metro-North and ConnDOT.

The order was completed on July 13, 2015, except for the 25 non-powered cars on option. Three M2 trainsets remain in service on weekdays; otherwise M8s provide all service.

Technical Data and Car Roster

Builder: Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc.

Starting Tractive Effort per car: 135 kN (30,000 lbf), Limited to 67 kN (15,000 lbf)

Car Numbers:  9100-9199 
Ownership: CDOT

Type: Married Pair
Quantity: 100 cars

Car Numbers: 9200-9299 
Ownership: MTA
Type: Married Pair

Quantity: 100 cars

Car Numbers: 9300-9399 
Ownership: CDOT
Type: Married Pair

Quantity: 100 cars

Car Numbers: 9400-9421 
Ownership: MTA
Type: Married Pair

Quantity: 22 cars

Car Numbers: 9460-9476 (Even Nos. Only)
Ownership: MTA
Type: Single Car

Quantity: 9 cars

Car Numbers: 9500-9519 
Ownership: CDOT
Type: Married Pair

Quantity: 20 cars

Car Numbers: 9560-9590 ( Even Nos. Only)
Ownership: CDOT
Type: Single Car

Quantity: 16 cars

Car Numbers: 9600-9623 
Ownership: CDOT
Type: Married Pair

Quantity: 24 cars

Car Numbers: 9530/9631 - 9542/9643 ( 9500 Even Nos. Only, 9600 Odd Nos. Only)
Ownership: CDOT
Type: Potential Cafe Married Pairs

Quantity: 14 cars

Incidents and accidents

On May 17, 2013, several cars were damaged in a train accident in Fairfield, Connecticut. At approximately 6:10 PM Eastern time on May 17, 2013, an M8 passenger train was heading east from New York City on Metro-North's New Haven line when it partially derailed, colliding with an oncoming train coming from the New Haven line's east end. The accident occurred between the Bridgeport and Fairfield Metro stations. The cause of the accident is suspected to be a fractured rail joint, though it is still unclear whether the fracture was the cause of the accident, or if the track was damaged as a result of it. 72 people were injured in the accident, 5 of those being serious injuries. No one died in the crash. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut credited the M8 railcars' design with potentially saving lives. In late January 2014, the MTA Board approved replacement and repairs of the railcars damaged in the crash. There were three cars damaged beyond repair to be replaced at a total cost of $10.95M. Four truck assemblies were needed at a total cost of $1.73M so that Metro North could repair two other cars. Finally, Kawasaki was authorized to repair four other railcars that were damaged. The cost for these repairs was unknown since the true scope of damage could not be determined ahead of time.

An M8 Slideshow. Click image for larger view.

Kawasaki Rail logo.

M8 Overview
In service: March 2011-present
Manufacturer: Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Family name: M-Series
Number built: 405 with an option for 25 more
Formation: 190 Married pairs, 25 Singles
Capacity Seated passengers: 110 (A car); 101 (B car); 114 (Single car)
Operators: Metro-North Railroad; Connecticut Department of Transportation
Specifications
Car length: 85 ft 0 in (25,908 mm)
Width: 10 ft 6 in (3,200 mm)
Maximum speed: 100 mph (161 km/h) (Design); 80 mph (129 km/h) (Service)
Weight: 144,850 pounds (65,700 kg (A car); 143,780 pounds (65,220 kg) (B car); 97,659 pounds (44,297 kg) (Single car)
Transmission: Mitsubishi Electric AC Traction Motors
Power supply: Third rail, Catenary
Electric systems: 750 V DC (Third rail); 12.5 kV 60 Hz AC (Catenary); 25 kV 60 Hz AC (Catenary)
Current collection method: Contact shoe; Pantograph
Braking systems: Regenerative / Pneumatic
Coupling system: Budd Pin and Cup coupler
Track gauge: 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)

See also:

M9 Railcar

Metro-North Railroad

New Haven Line

Rail Passenger Cars

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Metro-North M8 train at Port Chester, NY along the New Haven Line.
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Metro-North M8 train at Port Chester, NY along the New Haven Line.

By Bebo2good1 at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by TFCforever., GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14976653