M7 (railcar)

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LIRR M7 #7466 leaving Pinelawn en-route to Ronkonkoma
Metro-North M7A #4086 at Harlem-125 Street
In serviceM7: 2002-present
M7A: 2004-present
ManufacturerBombardier Transportation
Family nameM-series
Number built1,172 cars
Long Island Rail Road: 836 cars
Metro-North Railroad: 336 cars
Formationmarried pairs
Fleet numbersLIRR: 7001-7836
MNCR: 4000-4335
CapacitySeated passengers:
110 (A car); 101 (B car)
Operator(s)MTA (LIRR and MNCR)
Car length85 ft 0 in (25,908 mm)
Width10 ft 6 in (3,200 mm)[1]
Maximum speed100 mph (161 km/h) (Design)
80 mph (129 km/h) (Service)
Power output~200 kW (270 hp) Per Motor[2]
Transmission(4) Mitsubishi Electric AC Traction Motors and (2) IGBT inverters per car[3][4]
Electric system(s)750 V DC Third rail
Current collection methodContact shoe
Braking system(s)Regenerative / Pneumatic
Coupling systemBudd Pin and Cup coupler
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The M7 is an electric multiple unit railroad car built by Bombardier, with delivery beginning in 2002, used by the MTA on 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 fleets are powered from an electric third rail. A total of 1,172 M7 cars were built for the two railroads.[5]


Cars are arranged as married pairs, where each car contains a complete set of controls for an engineer, conductor, or brakeman. However, the 'B' Cars (denoted by odd-numbered car designations) 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.[5]

The M7 was built as two separate but similar models due to the different electrical and signaling systems on the LIRR and Metro-North. There most notable differences are in third rail shoe design between the M7 and M7A. The Metro-North uses under-running third rails (with the train's third-rail shoes collecting electricity from the bottom of the third rail) inherited from the former New York Central Railroad, and the LIRR uses over-running third rails.[5]


In late 1999, a contract was awarded to Bombardier for 836 LIRR M7s. Delivery began in early 2002, and test trains for the LIRR M7 began on the Ronkonkoma Branch. After several successful tests, LIRR M7 revenue service began on the Long Beach Branch on October 30, 2002 and Metro-North's first M7A started scheduled service in April 2004. All M7s were delivered by early 2007.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On February 3, 2015, an M7A train on Metro-North's Harlem Line was involved in a level crossing collision with a car stopped on the tracks in Valhalla, New York. Six people were killed and at least fifteen were injured. Car #4333 was destroyed in the subsequent fire.[6]
  • On January 4, 2017, an M7 train on Long Island Rail Road's Atlantic Branch overshot a bumper at Atlantic Terminal's track 6. Although no one was killed, over 100 were injured. Cab car #7553 was seriously damaged in the collision, after a broken rail made a large hole in the underbody.[7]

Early troubleshooting[edit]

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 tearing 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 about the M7, which influenced the development of the M8 railcars for the New Haven Line.

In the fall of 2006, the M7As started to experience serious braking problems due to foliage on the right-of-way, a condition known as "Slip-Slide." This caused nearly 2/3 of the Metro-North fleet to be taken out of service, 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.

As of 2007, the fleet has the highest mean distance between failures out of the entire LIRR fleet. This partly had to do with the fleet's newness, and so the fleet often needed to be tested for reliability.[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ M7 Technical Data from Bombardier Website Archived 2008-11-20 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ page 3
  3. ^ Mitsubishi Electric 'Connect' Newsletter, Summer 2006
  4. ^ http://www.sonic.net/~mly/Caltrain-Electrification/rolling.pdf Page 25-26
  5. ^ a b c Solomon, B. (2016). Field Guide to Trains: Locomotives and Rolling Stock. Voyageur Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-7603-5126-0. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "Six killed as New York train hits vehicle". BBC News Online. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  7. ^ "L.I.R.R. Derailment in Brooklyn Injures More Than 100". New York Times. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  8. ^ Outside Contractor's report Archived 2009-03-05 at the Wayback Machine, October 2007.

External links[edit]