Forum for the discussion of the Budd Company and Budd-Thyssen through bankruptcy. Wiki:

Moderator: John_Perkowski

  by NIMBYkiller
I read something over on about 8 cars called Garret cars that aparently looked exactly like the M1/M3. A major difference though is that they had low level boarding capabilities which was useful because they operated on the OB line(or so I'm told).

I was wondering if anyone has anymore info on these cars. Maybe even some pictures?

  by M1 9147
Jarred, these were Gas-Turbine powered cars which were also Dual-Mode, and found their ways on diesel lines for a very brief time. The problem with that was they were break down prone, they found themselves out quickly. And a few made their way onto the Metro North lines before Metro North took over, and were converted to straight electrics.. They were taken out of service shortly thereafter. Some were made by Garret, and some by I believe GE.

  by Otto Vondrak
They were dual mode- 600v DC third rail or gas-turbine. They had a blue stripe, and carried two-tone M logos- lettered "METROPOLITAN." They ran on LIRR and MTA Harlem and Hudson Lines... they carried roll sign destinations for a veritable "world's tour" of commuter lines of the 1970s. They had trap doors for low-level platform boarding. I think at some point these problematic experimental cars were sent back to Budd and turned into straight electrics for MN or LIRR. My recollections are fuzzy, but these cars were well travelled! I hope others will fill in the details!

Last edited by Otto Vondrak on Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by NIMBYkiller
I know that after they went straight electric, they only went to MN and not to LIRR. Also, someone at says they have a roll sign which has destinations including Stewart Airport and JFK! Now that's wishful thinking!

These things kind of sound like the DMs, lol.

Too bad RMLI never kept 2, or even 1, of them.

  by Long Island 7285
too bad that the C3's were not deisgned to be compatable with LL and HL platforms. it shure would have saved the LIRR money in not haveinf to build high level platforms east of eletrification.

  by Dave Keller
These cars did look like the M1s but had a different configuration along the roofline, probably due to whatever special equipment the unit contained.

They also had "DOT" logos on the cars (Dept. of Transportation).

I have a shot of #4001, 4002 and two other GTE cars, making up 4-car Oyster Bay train #515 at Mineola in June of 1977.

I have individual roster shots of 4 of the cars (4002, 4003, 4004, 4006) taken at Oyster bay in May and July, 1977, each with the DOT logo.

I guess that 1977 was the test year. Don't know if they stayed around longer than that.

Dave Keller

  by Clemuel
Yes, there were two competing vendors and they were paid for with DOT funds.

I believe Garett made four and GE (Budd) made four. The two sets were not compatable and had significant differences. They all looked similar to M-1's with different details. They had the two tone "M" logos with a Federal or DOT logo on the end doors and the sides.

For a few weeks one set made regular trips to Greenport in overnight testing. They were horribly noisy, sounding like a 747 at takeoff. You'd watch the lights go on in the farm houses enroute as you passed. They used trememdous amounts of fuel -- kerosene, as I recall and they stunk up the entire North Fork. I had the opportunity to operate one of them and they had M-1 type controls, but with a weard turbine-induced lag to the throttle response.

They had to be compatable with low level platforms, and each vendor came up with its own solution. One had a "trap door" in the vestibule that slid open to reveal stairs. Anyone on the trap door would fall out.

The other had folding stairs that dropped down under your feet -- another unnerving option.

As Otto said, they had cool roll signs; I'm lucky enough to have grabbed one off the Garett set before they were scrapped.

The GE set was converted for MetroNorth into M-1's (maybe M-3's?) by the Long Island Rail Road in Hillside Shops. They are probably still running today. The Garrett sets had "drop in" turbines that took a substantial part of the car and were deemed too much trouble to convert to electric.

Before those cars came, the LIRR had another experimental turbine car they kept in a shed on the old wye in Ronkonkoma. That was also a DOT funded project that, I believe was made from a converted Budd coach in the early 1970's.


this is the budd coach one



M2 at the lirr???

  by Lirr168
Awesome pics! Thanks for posting 'em! :-D

  by NIMBYkiller
Thanks for the pictures.

I read over at that ALL 8 cars were scrapped.

CREDIT due for

1 picture Joe Testagrose
2 picture Joe Testagrose

3 and 4 74volt on webshots

  by newkirk
" know that after they went straight electric, they only went to MN and not to LIRR. Also, someone at says they have a roll sign which has destinations including Stewart Airport and JFK! Now that's wishful thinking! "


Add to this was the destination of ALBANY. And not Albany, Georgia either !

  by KFRG
The shot of the M2 was taken just outside of Shea Stadium. Budd had set up a test track. I don't know the real details though.

  by Dave Keller
The shot of the Budd GT2 at the Ronkonkoma wye was the 2nd experimental car.

The first was the GT1 back in 1966. It looked very similar to the GT2. It had orange ends in lieu of the MTA yellow.

In 1969, that pre-fabricated metal shed was constructed.

There was even a large BUDD sign out front by the street, telling about the experimental car.

I remember they had an unusual horn. I lived in Holtsville, about a mile away from the tracks and could always tell it was running when it blew for the Blue Point Road crossing.

Dave Keller
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