Metro-North Retro Wrap Marks 40th

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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MTA Metro-North Railroad P32ACDM locomotive 208 at the North White Plains Maintenance of Equipment Repair Facility on Monday, May 15, 2023, where it has been wrapped as a heritage unit in 1983 livery in honor of the railroad’s 40th anniversary. (Marc A. Hermann/MTA)

MTA Metro-North Railroad is rebranding up to five locomotives in a Heritage Series livery to mark the regional/commuter railroad’s 40 years of service.

Marc A. Hermann/MTA

Craft workers at Metro-North’s Plains Maintenance of Equipment Repair Facility applied a vinyl wrap to P32ACDM No. 208, the first locomotive to be rebranded, and one of 31 such units the railroad uses on its northern Hudson and Harlem Lines and the New Haven Line’s Danbury and Waterbury Branches. The silver, blue and red livery pays homage to Metro-North’s original design created upon the railroad’s founding in 1983 and applied to its dual-mode (diesel/third-rail) FL9 locomotives and worn by them until the last unit was retired in April 2007. 

Marc A. Hermann/MTA

Additional locomotives will be wrapped in the heritage liveries that were worn by predecessor railroads (New Haven, New York Central, Penn Central, Conrail). All will remain in service “for the foreseeable future.,” the New York MTA said.

New Haven FL9 2010 with Train 83, a Springfield, Mass.-New York City train, near Enfield, Conn., July 20, 1968. Photo: Roger Puta, Wikimedia Commons

Metro-North is the descendant of commuter rail services dating back as early as 1832. By 1969, they had all been acquired by Penn Central. The MTA had acquired all three lines by 1972; Penn Central continued to operate them under contract. Service was transferred to Conrail in 1976, when it absorbed most of Penn Central’s railroad functions after Penn Central’s bankruptcy. The system took its current form in 1983, when MTA took over Conrail’s commuter operations in the northern portion of the New York Metropolitan Area and merged them into Metro-North. Two other Conrail operations were transferred to state agencies in 1983, New Jersey Transit and SEPTA.

Marc A. Hermann/MTA

Metro-North set post-COVID ridership records the week of May 8 in three categories: Average Weekday; Average Tuesday-Thursday; and Average Weekend. For the first time since March 2020 the railroad carried more than 200,000 passengers on three consecutive days, May 9-11, carrying 205,069 on May 9. On May 14, Metro-North carried 101,089 riders, marking the first time since pre-COVID that Sunday ridership has exceeded 100,000. 

Noted railway industrial designer Cesar Vergara designed the P32ACDM carbody, which is shared with Amtrak’s P42. These locomotives entered service in the 1990s. Marc A. Hermann/MTA

On May 12, Metro-North carried a record 4,933 baseball fans, 10.7% of game attendance, to watch the Yankees defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5, or. It was the highest game-day ridership this season, and the highest percentage of Yankee Stadium attendance since the American League Championship Game on Oct. 8, 2017, when the Yankees defeated the Houston Astros 6-4 and Metro-North carried 11.0% of the 48,804 fans in attendance.

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