Metro-North’s new M-8 cars, the first of which entered service last month, include products from two Connecticut manufacturers.

The cars’ interior and external lighting systems were supplied by Trans-Lite Inc. of Milford. Founded in 1887 as the Safety Car Heating & Lighting Co., Trans-Lite designs and manufactures transportation related lighting and destination sign equipment that is found on most transit systems throughout the U.S.

Most of the locks, latches and other special hardware for the M-8 coaches were made by the 170-year-old James L. Howard & Co. of Bloomfield, which manufactures locks, latches, keys and other types of specialty hardware for the railroad and subway industries. Howard performs all design, manufacturing and assembly work in-house.

 WATERBURY — Expanding sales and increased manufacturing activity is prompting plastics molding maker Forum Plastics to relocate from its 25,000-square-foot Stamford location to a 34,000-square-foot facility in Waterbury this summer.

Forum makes supplies for the medical, hardware, consumer and electronics industries. The new facility will be located at 105 Progress Lane.

Frank Johnson, president and chief executive officer of the Manufacturing Alliance of Connecticut, said U.S. manufacturing and sales activity have grown over nine consecutive months to 2008 levels, with some Connecticut manufacturers hiring back workers laid off two years ago.

Johnson also said that higher property costs in Fairfield County make a move to New Haven County economically sensible. Forum, currently located at 652 Glenbrook Road in Stamford, expects to bring about 50 jobs when it opens in Waterbury.

Vidal/Wettenstein of Westport represented Forum, while Mathews Commercial Properties represented the landlord.