The M-7 is an electric multiple unit railroad car built by Bombardier, with delivery beginning in 2002. The cars were ordered by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York) for the Long Island Rail Road (M7) and Metro-North Railroad (M7A). The M7 replaced the M1 railcars, which had previously provided electric service on these lines. The M7 are powered from an electric third rail.
There are two different versions, owing to the different electrical and signaling systems on the LIRR and Metro-North. The M7 has AC traction motors and can accelerate more quickly from a standing stop than previous MU sets. The two different cars also contain different door-closing lights; the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) has small red button-sized closing-lights, while Metro-North has white light strips.
The cars are operated in married pairs, with each car containing a complete set of controls for an engineer, conductor, or brakeman. However, the B Cars contain a handicapped accessible restroom, which is larger than the restroom provided on the M1 and M3 railcars and designed to accommodate a wheelchair, as well as an attendant and/or service animal (such as a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog) accompanying the passenger. The enlarged bathroom reduces the number of seats in the car. B cars are assigned odd-number designations.
The M7 cars swayed from side to side more than intended when introduced to service, and required modifications to reduce the sway. In late 2006 the MTA began a replacement of all M7 armrests after paying out over $100,000 to customers who filed complaints. The factory installed armrests were notorious for slipping into trouser pockets and then destroying them when sitting. The new design is of a different profile and is coated in a more fabric-friendly rubber. Some passengers complained about having fewer seats per B car, a consequence of the larger ADA-compliant restrooms, and about the width of the seats. Metro-North's management received feedback, which will influence the development of the M8 railcars - which will be built by Kawasaki Rail Car and used on the New Haven Line.
LIRR M-7 service began October 30, 2002 and Metro-North's first M-7 started scheduled service in April 2004. A new eight-car set of M7s cost $18 million.
In the fall of 2006, the M7s started to experience serious braking problems due to foliage on the right of way, causing nearly 2/3 of the fleet to be removed from service on Metro-North, due to flat spots on wheels. While the LIRR fleet performed significantly better, stripped M1s from both railroads were reactivated, and diminished schedules were instituted until the M7 fleet was able to resume full operation.
Today, the fleet has the highest mean distance between failures out of the entire LIRR fleet.
- M-7 Electric Multiple Unit – New York, USA
- Builder: Bombardier Transportation
- Operators: Long Island Rail Road (836 cars - 7001-7836) and Metro-North Railroad (336 cars - 4000-4335)
- Length 25,908 mm - 85' 0
- Width 3,200 mm - 10' 6"
- Mitsubishi Electric AC Traction Motors and IGBT inverters
- Power output - 265 horsepower (200 kW) per motor, 4 motors per car, two inverters per car
- Max. Speed 160 km/h - 100 mph
- Seated Passengers: 110 (A car); 101 (B car)