Jump to content
Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


An End to Pants-Grabbing Armrests: 2010, Railroads Say

Recommended Posts

An End to Pants-Grabbing Armrests: 2010, Railroads Say

By William Neuman

Published: June 16, 2007


Come 2010, the Long Island Rail Road will be safe for trousers again.


The railroad has projected that by the middle of that year it will have finally replaced all 36,366 armrests on its M7 railcars. The armrests are notorious among riders for snagging pieces of clothing and tearing them.


A plan to replace the armrests on both the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad (which has 14,616 of them on its M7 fleet) will be submitted this month to the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


That news should come as a relief to many riders, although some tailors near Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal may worry about a loss of business from the many commuters who have needed a quick mending before continuing to work since the M7 cars were introduced in 2002.


Because Metro-North has fewer of the M7 rail cars (366 compared with the Long Island’s 836), it expects to provide relief to its ridership a little earlier, by the first quarter of 2009, according to a summary of the plan provided to some board members this week.


The railroads will ask the board to approve a $3.59 million contract to buy the replacement armrests from Multina, the company that manufactured the seats on the M7 cars. Excluding labor costs, that works out to about $70.50 an armrest.


The railroads would use their own workers to remove the old armrests and install the new ones, but the board documents do not include an estimate for labor costs. A Metro-North spokesman said the railroad estimated the labor cost for its portion of the work at $200,000. An estimate from the Long Island was not available.


What the railroads are really buying is goodwill from riders. Together, the railroads have paid out more than $100,000 in claims to hundreds of riders whose clothing has been torn on the armrests. Interviews with riders suggest that hundreds or thousands more have damaged their clothes but never submitted a claim.


The old armrests are made of a rubbery material that seems to latch onto clothes and not let go. They are also long and tapered and are attached at an angle that allows them to slide unobserved into pants pockets as a rider sits down.


The new armrests are shorter, with a smoother finish, which, according to the board summary, “does not ‘grab’ clothing.”


The railroads said that it would take about 10 months to receive the replacement armrests from the manufacturer and that they would then begin installing them at a rate of 10 cars a week on each railroad.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.