Malloy announces purchase of 60 rail cars on New Haven Line, includes 10 bar cars

Metro-North railroad car. (WTNH)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Governor Dannel Malloy announced Tuesday that the Metro-North New Haven line will see some additional cars placed on the tracks.

Gov. Malloy appeared in New Haven at the train yards to make the announcement.

We haven’t seen bar cars for the last two years. That’s because the state replaced all the train cars with the new M-8s. Those cars are great, and the trains are running much better now, but the M-8 does not come with a bar car option from the manufacturer.

At first, the state said it would cost too much to retrofit M-8s as bar cars, but they seem to have found a way. The bar cars were a treasured tradition on the New Haven line. The Governor says the state is buying 60 new M-8 cars, and is going to get 10 of them fitted as bar cars. That’s welcome news for commuters.

Related: Bar cars returning to Metro-North New Haven line

“Honestly sometimes after a long day at work or if you’re about to go to an event you’d probably like to have a few drinks on the train,” said Shawnelle Philo, Commuter.

“Especially at rush hour is when I think commuters will find them most attractive,” said Jim Cameron, Founder of the Commuter Action Group.

Jim Cameron is a longtime commuter activist. He says the 60 new cars will be paid for with state bond money, not passenger fares.

But it is quite a coincidence that, as Gov. Malloy made his announcement with this good news, the first of six hearings on fare hikes will be going on in Meriden. The state wants to increase Metro-North fares by 5 percent starting December 1st. That’s as unpopular with riders as bar cars are popular.

If you’d like to speak out about the hikes, Tuesday’s hearings are from 11-2 p.m. in Meriden City Hall, then from 4-7 p.m. at the Waterbury Library.

More hearings are Wednesday in Stamford and Thursday in New Haven.

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