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LIRR, Metro-North Report Historic Performance Records

The two commuter rail agencies of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and MTA Metro-North Railroad, both experienced the best mechanical performance records in their recorded history in 2015.

For LIRR, 2015 was its 16th consecutive year of improvement for railcar reliability and the best record since it began keeping records in 1981. Metro-North began keeping reliability records in 1989.

LIRR railcars traveled an average of 208,383 miles between breakdowns last year and Metro-North cars averaged a distance of 199,838 miles before breaking down—in each case, enough mileage to circle the earth more than eight times. The LIRR figure is 18 percent above its goal of 176,000 miles, while Metro-North exceeded its goal of 185,000 by 8 percent.

“There are many factors that can cause a train delay, from track conditions to problems at grade crossings to congestion from other trains,” said LIRR President Patrick Nowakowski. “I am pleased to report that the LIRR is doing a better job than ever before in neutralizing the category of potential train delays that we have the most control over: problems with the trains themselves. Our all-time high performance in terms of railcar mechanical reliability is a testament to the hard work that our employees perform every day to keep our railcars inspected and maintained in top condition, even as the fleet ages.”

Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti cited the introduction of new M8 railcars to the busiest route, the New Haven Line, because of joint investments through the MTA’s Capital Program and Connecticut DOT. “We are very pleased that the M8 cars are exceeding their performance expectations,” he said. “This is a testament to the years of work that went into designing and building these cars. Perhaps even more importantly, it’s also a testament to the strong partnership between the states of New York and Connecticut that led to the crucial capital investment needed to get these cars into service.”

Both railroads reported record ridership in 2015: 87.6 million LIRR customers, the largest number since 1949, and more than 86 million on Metro-North, the highest in its history.
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