In 2014, riders on Metro-North's New Haven line chugged their final Budweiser, when the MTA decommissioned the last bar car to make way for the fleet of new M-8 trains. And thus it was back to furtive sips from paper bags for daily commuters to Connecticut. There's room for hope, however, with a rumor the bar cars are set to return, once again bringing happy hour to the rails.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy may be announcing the return of bar cars as early as this Friday, sources told the CT Post. The Governor is expected to reveal plans to purchase 60 new M-8 rail cars, 10 of which are expected to be of the bar variety. The Governor's office did not immediately return requests for comment and CT Department of Transportation declined to comment when asked about the bar cars' return.
But this move tracks with statements by transit officials, who've hinted at the possibility of outfitting their new fleet with special compartments for drinking.
While bar sales may have been in decline, there was a steadfast group of regulars who mourned the bars' retirement. "This commute is miserable…and there's one car on this train where everyone is happy," one rider told the Associated Press. Fans say the bar cars offered a sense of community, much like a beloved dive or neighborhood pub. And a way to get sloshed before retreating back to one's miserable life and horrible children in the suburbs.