Both the Department of Transportation and Metro-North Railroad officials said they weren’t too concerned that one of the new M-8 rail cars, due to arrive later this year, failed its first stress test.
During a stress test conducted by Kawasaki, one of the new cars buckled “slightly” when squeezed with 800,000 pounds of force.
“Kawasaki conducted this test on M-8 car shells and it resulted in the metal skin on the side of the car deforming slightly,” Marjorie Anders of Metro-North Railroad said in an emailed statement late last week. “Even though the effect was slight, we, nonetheless, consider the test a failure.”
Anders said there will be another test conducted this month and “we have every expectation that the car will pass this time and expect no negative impact to the delivery schedule because of it.”
Department of Transportation spokesman Judd Everhart said this was not like an automobile crash test.
“This kind of test is one of hundreds of safety tests and measurements done when cars like this are being built so that when they are put into service, they are safe,” Everhart said.
“Second, this will not affect the delivery schedule of the new M-8 cars,” he emphasized.
The new M-8 cars are scheduled to replace the aging M-2 and M-4 cars.
Metro-North Railroad is overseeing the contract for the new M-8 cars being built by Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. The multi-million contract with the Japanese manufacturer requires the company to provide 300 rail cars to the state at a rate of about 10 cars per month starting in 2010.
Jim Cameron, chairman of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council, a group which acts as the liaison between commuters and the Department of Transportation, Metro-North, and Shoreline East, said the lack of information about the failed M-8 stress test will be a topic of discussion at the Wednesday, June 17 council meeting in Stamford.
Cameron said the council wants an explanation about what happened and what it means for the arrival of the long-anticipated M-8 cars.