LIRR to use decades-old rail cars to fill in gap once Grand Central Station access is complete
It will be a blast from the past for some commuters on the Long Island Rail Road.
The LIRR plans to use 37-year-old rail cars known as M3s once the Grand Central Station access is completed.
LIRR interim president Catherine Rinaldi says supply chain issues and defective rail cars have delayed the delivery of the state-of-the-art fleet purchased by the LIRR called M9s and M9 As.
The upgraded electric rail cars were supposed to be running when extra service got underway at Grand Central Station. The M3s, that were used in the 1980s and 1990s, will roll out to plug the gap.
"The M3s are perfectly fine cars…people will get a really great customer experience wherever they are on the railroad," Rinaldi says.
Gerry Bringmann, who heads the LIRR Commuter Council, says the older rail cars are not going to be a great experience but the railroad has no other choice.
"The heat doesn't work quite right, air conditioning is not what it should be, the bathrooms are kind antiquated and it bothers a lot of commuters," Bringmann says. "There is duct tape on the seats - they're more likely to break down."
Bringmann says it will be like taking a ride back in time that most would rather not go on.
Regular riders of the LIRR like Malcolm Curtis are not happy about having to use the older trains for the same price.
"You're going to bring back these ragley trains - then lower the tickets or certain days half-price - I mean it's not fair," Curtis says.
The M3s are expected to be used for possibly one to two years until the M9s are delivered.
Rinaldi says the Grand Central Access and the Third Rail Project are on track to be completed by the end of the year.