New M-8 Rail Cars Rolling on Metro-North New Canaan Branch

January 14, 2015

Hartford, CT – Southwestern Connecticut legislators are happy to announce the New M-8 Rail Cars purchased by the state Department of Transportation are now finally rolling on the Metro-North New Canaan Branch. State Representative Tom O’Dea (New Canaan) and New Canaan First Selectman Robert Mallozzi along with Senators Scott Frantz (Greenwich) and Toni Boucher (Wilton) have been pushing to bring the region’s transportation network into the 21st Century.

“This area of the Metro- North line has been under a lot of pressure because of the sheer amount of people who commute into New York City. I am very pleased to see the commitment from the CTDOT to place the new cars on the New Canaan branch. These are taxpayer dollars at work,” said Sen. Boucher.

“This is the start of a long-term commitment that will preserve New Canaan’s ability to attract the kind of residents that add value to our community and support the entire state with the taxes they contribute,” remarked Robert E. Mallozzi, First Selectman of New Canaan. “It is gratifying to see the commitment to our rail system finally be put in place. I applaud the Governor’s recognition of the importance to Fairfield County of this vital asset and also applaud my fellow First Selectmen, Mayors and local legislators for keeping this vital issue at the forefront of our annual priority discussions with the State.

On Tuesday Representative O’Dea joined the governor’s office and other dignitaries at the Springdale Station in Stamford to see the M-8 cars in action.

Rep. O’Dea said, “I am ecstatic about the announcement and calling for upgrades to the New Canaan line. Many of our residents rely on the train to get to their job and making it safe and reliable while improving speed and comfort is a priority for all of us.”

“I appreciated the opportunity to speak at length with the Governor about lowering the gas tax by 25 cents to make Connecticut the cheapest gas in New England. Such a move, I believe, will actually result in an increase in revenue because we’ll have out of state residents buying their gas here as opposed to simply driving through.”

“This progress will go a long way as leaders in Hartford continue to talk about transformation of our state’s transportation infrastructure. The needs are great and seeing movement on the Metro-North line shows there is an acknowledgement by the administration that the time has come to be serious about the reliability of the line and the safety of the commuting public,” added Sen. Frantz.

The new cars will be used on the 7:32 a.m. and the 7:58 a.m. departures from New Canaan and the 5:13 p.m. and 5:29 p.m. departure from Grand Central.

According to a study by (CTDOT) they project a 44 percent increase in ridership at the New Canaan Branch over the next 15 years. Leaders have asked that upgrades like a ticket kiosk and canopy at the Talmadge Hill rail platform be included in any future transportation discussions.

Currently nearly all New Haven Line trains are operating with the M-8s which were purchased by the state back in 2009.