The brighter, airier M-8 train cars now make almost a third of the New Haven Line runs during the week, and about half of them during the weekend, Metro-North Railroad says.
So it makes sense that when I rode to Manhattan yesterday, I boarded one of the railroad’s newest cars in Larchmont, but took one of the old, grimier cars coming home.
The new trains make 31.1 percent of the runs Monday through Thursday, and slightly
fewer on Fridays, the railroad reports. Saturdays, they make 47.7 percent of the runs, and on Sundays they break the halfway mark, making 52.2 percent of the runs.
Those odds will increase as the railroad continues to receive the Kawaski built cars. As of May 8, Metro-North had rolled out 100 of the 405 that will eventually be in service.
The cars came out several years after the Hudson and Harlem line got their new generation of cars, the M-7s. (The M stands for “metropolitan,” by the way.) Part of the delay came because Connecticut, which pays for about two-thirds of the New Haven Line, didn’t want them at first.
So we in Westchester’s Long Island Sound shore area had to wait.
But then, I never minded the older cars, until I got to ride the new ones. Now I look forward to riding in that interior – bright red, off-white and light beige interior. Sometimes you even get that new-car smell.
It’s more pleasant than the old ones with the blood red-blue-beige color scheme that I suppose was in style at some point. But these cars have been around for decades. The grime has worked into the upholstery so deeply that it will never come out.
I ride to Manhattan four or five times a month, mostly on weekends, so I’ve ridden the M-8s a number of times. But only once have I ridden the M-8s both ways.
Eventually, that should become routine.