State announces plan to test out new M-8 railcar bike rack concepts

Metro-North Railroad and the Connecticut Department of Transportation are asking bike enthusiasts to try out two prototype bike rack designs for the state’s new M-8 railcars at two events this week.

Photos of the racks were not available on Tuesday afternoon.

The two potential designs will debut  on-board two M-8 railcars from 11am to 1pm, Thursday, Sept. 15, at Union Station, 50 Union Avenue,New Haven.
The designs will subsequently be shown from 11am to 1pm, Friday,Sept 16, at Grand Central Terminal, 42nd St., in New York City.
Riders are asked to bring a bicycle if possible to test the designs.

After the showcase, Metro-North and the DOT are planning to have the M-8 cars with the two designs assigned to specific New Haven line trains on both weekdays and weekends throughout the autumn where bicyclists could expect to use them.

Last August, Metro-North Railroad chose to not conduct a $100,000 trial to test out a bike hook design on-board M-7 cars on Metro-North’s M-7 cars, which are similarly configured to Connecticut’s M-8, and run on MNR’s Harlem and Hudson lines.

The reason given was that the trial could be delayed because the railroad lacked the required $1 million to fabricate and manufacture the racks for Connecticut’s M-8 fleet, and hundreds of M-7 cars on the Metro-North and Long Island railroads.