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Investigation into delayed new Metro North train cars


Harry

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NEW YORK (WABC) -- In an exclusive investigation, Eyewitness News uncovers emails among rail officials that shed light on the real reasons behind the continued delays for the new rail cars for Metro North's New Haven line.

 

When last winter storms took out almost half of the New Haven line's 40-year-old fleet, frustrated commuters grew angrier as it became apparent that none of the new M-8 rail cars would be available to relieve the critical shortage.

 

"They better get police on the trains, there's going to be a lot of angry commuters," said one commuter.

 

The railroad kept blaming software problems for holding up the new cars.

 

See the full report: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=8222519

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Looks like if the rest of the M8s dont come in on time, and another winter storm comes in, the M2/4/6s may have to go back to the shops in CT for repair and the P32AC-DMs ill have to replace this. If problems come in.

 

I think a new rebuilding program may need to come into the old cars temporally if positive things to show up in the future..

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Good story Harry. I know some of the defenders here of Kawaski will state that these delays are 'normal.' However with the delivery of the M8's at least 2 years behind schedule, something is wrong. This is a sad development & decline for a world reknowned bulider of train cars who once bulid for (NYCT) the R-62's and R-68 models arguably among the best ever for the NYC subway.

This is a 'what have you done for me' buisness and time is $$$. Most of the M2/M4 and a few of the M6's(the one in descent shape should be 'rebulided' since they are only 25 years ago in the mid-'80's)should be 'retired' at least by now.

 

 

Any more 'delays' even taken into account the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan and I hope the (MTA)can sue to collect damages. Also if the delays continue for any more longer period of time IMO if was the (MTA) I would not do any more business with Kawaski for a long time if ever. These delays are becoming a 21st Century version of the St Louis Car crisis with then new 'state of the art' R44's and R46's in the 1970's.

What a fail by Kawaski.

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Those M2/4/6's will start to die as they already are. The doors are not closing. Has anyone seen that video. The M8's have to arrive before winter when the older will get beat up even more.

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Thankfully I am a regular Hudson River Line MNRR customer but i feel bad for my fellow riders on the NH line. They had such a crappy winter season this past year and deserve better.

 

Hopefully Kawaski will speed placing the new fleet of trains so that by the start of this upcoming winter maybe 25-30% of the NH fleet could be M-8's.

 

After that the Disel trains almost all Gensis used mainly on the Poughkeepsie, Wassic and Danbury lines will soon need new trains as well. Most of the MNRR Disel fleet are now 25-30something years old, so those 'babys' are getting closer to end of their service lives as well.

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This is what happens when the MTA deviates from a proven design. The M7 design was good enough, Why change it up so radically? No wonder it is not working.

 

 

Great point Andrew aka R68. The (MTA) has some egg on it face as well for the radical design change. With that said, I think only Kawaski and Bombaider were the only '2' serious bidders to bulid the M-8's. If it was going to be this diffcult buliding and no one had bid then the (MTA) would have to sign a deal with a company that had the M-8 bulit as a twin to the M-8.

 

Taken into account this contract was signed almost 4-5 years ago now, and enough blame to go around, I stand by my earlier comments in this thread that most of the blame is now on Kawaski since if they design problems they should have 'come clean' at least 2 years ago when the first set of M8's were suppose to debut. I guess $$$ talks and BS walks.:P

 

The losers are the riders of the New Haven Line.:mad:

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Can anyone say Pullman-Standard? This reminds me of the Rockwell truck fiasco back in the 70s with the R46,when they installed untested lightweight trucks on all 754 cars,which began racking under stress!!! stupid move on their part.Kawasaki is a great builder. I like the M8 design,but I always said that the cars are overbuilt and makes the M7 cars look so much older than what they are.2 years of delays fall into he guidelines of a lawsuit in my opinion.MNRR just received their third set.I wonder how is that going.?

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This stinks.

I'm interested in seeing the (MTA) possibly suing Kawaski.

.....

There's not much else for me to say.

I've only ridden the New Haven Line once...

 

What does GAR stand for?

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This stinks.

I'm interested in seeing the (MTA) possibly suing Kawaski.

.....

There's not much else for me to say.

I've only ridden the New Haven Line once...

 

Do tell me what would the MTA sue kawaski for?

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The (MTA) has some egg on it face as well for the radical design change.
In a way, you can blame the MTA for many of the problems that plagued the R44 and R46. If they had stayed with what worked, in terms of mechanics, maybe the R44s would still be running.
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Do tell me what would the MTA sue kawaski for?

 

Well, there's this tidbit between WABC Reporter Jim Hoffer and Metro North-president Howard Permut:

 

----------------------------------------------------------------

 

"You'll go after those financial damages if necessary?" Hoffer asked.

 

"Absolutely!" Permut responded.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Ok, so it's not anything conclusive and I'm probably just jumping the gun here, but the cars are fairly late...

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Well, there's this tidbit between WABC Reporter Jim Hoffer and Metro North-president Howard Permut:

 

----------------------------------------------------------------

 

"You'll go after those financial damages if necessary?" Hoffer asked.

 

"Absolutely!" Permut responded.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Ok, so it's not anything conclusive and I'm probably just jumping the gun here, but the cars are fairly late...

 

 

If i was Permut I would start the 'papers' rolling on damages right now.:mad:

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Well, there's this tidbit between WABC Reporter Jim Hoffer and Metro North-president Howard Permut:

 

----------------------------------------------------------------

 

"You'll go after those financial damages if necessary?" Hoffer asked.

 

"Absolutely!" Permut responded.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Ok, so it's not anything conclusive and I'm probably just jumping the gun here, but the cars are fairly late...

 

Damages do not always entail a law suit. When the Orion VII NG's were delivered late, MTA sought damages. This is very common in the heavy-duty manufacturing industry.

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Damages do not always entail a law suit. When the Orion VII NG's were delivered late, MTA sought damages. This is very common in the heavy-duty manufacturing industry.

 

And you see that fiasco didn't have too much impact on Orion's business with the (MTA).

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The M7/A's aren't exactly a "proven" design, and we've already had threads regarding their suspension issues, among other problems. So, to claim that Metro-North and the MTA should have stayed with a design "that works" is to admit to not knowing the entire story. More importantly, the M8 equipment is more complex and versatile than anything that has ever seen North American rails, save for the Acela, and they are not simply M7A's with pantographs. Considering this fact, as well as the long-winded story of Connecticut politics, CDOT, and the relationship with Metro-North and the MTA, the effect that CDOT, Shore Line East, Amtrak and the FRA have had and continue to have on rail commutation, as well the status quo of existing New Haven equipment and maintenance facilities, the recession's role, et cetera... It's to be expected that any new purchase to move on the NHL could, would, should and needed to be run into the ground via meticulous testing, close attention to every little detail from compatibility with the existing system all the way down to the compatibility with the existing mops and brooms. I've just provided a number of reasons as to why these cars have been and most likely will continue to be delayed until the entire order has been completed. There are even more that I have not listed. Aside from this, it's no secret that there are, in fact, secrets with everything in the world today, especially when it comes to money, politics and news.

 

In this day and age and with society the way it has become, just about everything encounters delays, revisions and people who have nothing better to do but complain. And when these chronic whiners don't have anything to complain about, they complain about that. I've been on a number of trains that have traveled both well ahead and behind schedule; the newer equipment has yet to sprint circles around the older equipment, provide a huge difference in comfort or ride all that much smoother, and the occasional door light hasn't presented any drastic delays. The M2/4/6 cars, in my opinion, have been quite reliable since the winter's end. The climate control in the cars that I've entire rode in or passed through hasn't been an issue, and the toilets have been dirty because of the barnyard riders, not due to any mechanical faults. Occasionally I'll ride a train with dead traction motors or failed dynamics somewhere within the consist, but that's been happening since long before the the M8 contract was even put to bid, and the ride generally has not been compromised to a noticeable degree.

 

That having been stated, anyone who actually thought that the M8's would have been delivered on time is really not in touch with reality. The M2/4/6's have been running well these past few months. I'd like to see if anything else relevant to this story emerges in the future, and I wouldn't be surprised if this report doesn't paint the entire factual picture.

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I remember when the (MTA) Fined Alstom $800 a day for the Late R160A cars after the cars had Weld defects on the sheet metal.And back during the introduction of the R62A,Bombardier was about to lose the 825 car order because the trains couldnt pass the test with failing Controllers.

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I remember when the (MTA) Fined Alstom $800 a day for the Late R160A cars after the cars had Weld defects on the sheet metal.And back during the introduction of the R62A,Bombardier was about to lose the 825 car order because the trains couldnt pass the test with failing Controllers.

 

Alstom lost there Budapest Metro Car contract after the same thing happen. The windows popped out on some cars , the seats fell apart after testing , the welds were to weak to meet EU standards.... It was the biggest cancel of cars in Hungarian history....and city leaders were steamed...

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My god this train had more than just teething problems.

 

The CT Commuter Council has long been an outspoken collection of henpecking instigators. It's true that the Council does play the role of the de facto liaison between CDOT/MNR/MTA and the riders. However, Jim Cameron frequently proves himself to be the Pied Piper of the New Haven, playing his little blog flute and leading the uninformed commuters around in a fit of fury. The cars certainly did run into a number of issues, that's undeniable. However, as I've stated before, this equipment is more complex than anything that's currently on the North American Rails, and a plump percentage of the issues involved new technology and features unique to the M8 cars. As far as I know, this is the first railcar purchase that Metro-North and CDOT have made from Kawasaki, and that alone presents a compatibility learning curve. For a LOT of reasons, it was necessary to run these cars into the ground, and there are just as many, if not more reasons that explain why the NHL didn't see new trains 10 - 15 years ago.

 

In my opinion, the biggest problem was the lack of positive communication between Kawasaki, CDOT, MNR and LTK. This only led to incomplete answers to the public's questions. It's not my place to claim that every time that people were on different pages was without just cause, but I'm sure that Kawasaki, MNR and CDOT haven't been standing around the beer pong table trying to think of ways to delay M8 delivery, testing and revenue service implementation.

 

Fares for travel to and from Connecticut stations have not yet increased, and Metro-North did a fantastic job at handling this past winter and keeping as much equipment in service as possible. Riders still leave their personal trash lying all throughout the cars, disrespect the equipment (especially the bathrooms) and the fellow riders in the process, and complain about the quality of service. I'd rather have the problems listed within Cameron's classified crap encountered and resolved during the testing phase than during passenger service. Just the same, I'd rather that the first eight cars experience the faults so that the remaining 372 don't.

 

The pages aren't even listed in the same order as when they were faxed, and while I didn't bother to actually check to see if anything was missing, who's to say that there isn't more information that wasn't made public by Cameron & Co.? Nearly all of the bugs that were listed in the documents are now absent from the M8's that are currently in service. In fact, 99% of the bugs that have been plaguing the new cars (and the older ones as well) are the customers themselves. It's too bad that THOSE malfunctions can't be reprogrammed.

 

I really shouldn't judge others. :eek:

 

Whatever.

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