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Metro-North Has Its Best Mechanical Performance Ever Led By New Haven Line

Metro-North says it achieved the best mechanical performance in the history of its rail cars in 2015.
Metro-North says it achieved the best mechanical performance in the history of its rail cars in 2015. Photo Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Metro-North Railroad announced it achieved the best mechanical performance in the history of its rail cars in 2015, leading customers to experience more reliable trains and better on-time performance.

In 2015, Metro-North rail cars averaged a distance of 199,838 miles before breaking down and causing a delay. That’s enough miles to circle the earth eight times and the highest “mean distance between failures” performance since Metro-North first started tracking the figure in 1989.

Last year's number best the 2014 total by more than 50,000 miles, or two times around the earth, and it was 8 percent above the rail's projected goal of 185,000 miles.

The reasons for the improving reliability are the use of improved car maintenance strategies and strong performance of a renewed rail car fleet, said railroad officials.

The railroad points to the addition of their new fleet of rail cars, known as the M8s, to Metro-North’s busiest line, the New Haven Line. The M8s have replaced nearly all of the old rail cars, which dated to the 1970s and 1980s. The first of the M8 cars – 405 in total – went into service in 2011, and the last were put into service by the end of June. The M8s exceeded their mileage goal for the year by 2.4 percent.

“Now that the M8 cars have gone through the initial ‘break-in’ period, we have a chance to evaluate their design and performance in real-world conditions,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti. “We are very pleased that the M8 cars are exceeding their performance expectations. This is a testament to the years of work that went into designing and building these cars. Perhaps even more importantly, it’s also a testament to the strong partnership between the States of New York and Connecticut that led to the crucial capital investment needed to get these cars into service.”

The change has meant there were train seats for 99.6 percent of all Metro-North customers in 2015. The change also contributed to Metro-North’s system-wide on-time performance of 93.5 percent, up from 91.5 percent in 2014.

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