Students could soon have a more luxurious ride from New Haven to New York on MTA Metro-North Railroad.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation has ordered 300 new rail cars from Kawasaki Railroad Inc. for the New Haven Line that state officials said will be a big upgrade from the current Metro-North trains, NBC Connecticut reported Thursday.
The new rail cars are currently being built, and the first completed models will be put on the tracks starting this fall. According to NBC Connecticut, Gov. M. Jodi Rell described the trains as “sleek, modern and high tech.” The cars offer increased legroom, larger bathrooms, two bicycle hooks per car, LED screens to display upcoming station stops and power outlets that will enable riders to charge laptops and cell phones during their commutes.
But the new trains are not without a price: the rail cars will cost $700 million in taxpayer dollars. In 2011, there will be a 1.25 percent cost increase for all Metro-North train tickets, and there will be an additional yearly 1 percent fare hike for six years after that, Jim Cameron, chairman of the CT Metro-North/Shoreline East Rail Commuter, told NBC Connecticut.
“That’s a small price to pay for a car like this,” Cameron said.
Watch WTNH’s footage of the new Kawasaki M-8 rail cars below.