M9 (railcar)

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LIRR Kawasaki M9 EMU - Jamaica NY.jpg
LIRR M9 testing at Jamaica station
Manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Replaced all remaining M3s
Number under construction 92 (base order); options for up to 494 more
Number built 20
Formation married pairs
Fleet numbers LIRR: 9001–9092
Capacity TBD
Operator(s) MTA (Long Island Rail Road)
Car length 85 ft (26 m)
Width 10 ft 8 in (3.25 m)
Maximum speed 100 mph (160 km/h) design
80 mph (130 km/h) service
Transmission Mitsubishi Electric AC Traction Motors & IGBT inverters[1]
Power supply TBD
Electric system(s) 750 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Braking system(s) Pneumatic, dynamic/regenerative
Coupling system Budd Pin and Cup coupler
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The M9 is an electric multiple unit railroad car being built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries for use on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)'s Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). These cars will replace the M3 railcars built during the 1980s, as well as expand the fleet, allowing for additional service after the completion of the LIRR's East Side Access project.[2] A separate order of cars purchased for the LIRR using federal funding for the East Side Access project will be designated M9A.[3][4]



In mid-2012, the MTA issued a joint procurement request for the LIRR and Metro-North for a total of up to 676 M9 railcars, set for delivery between 2016 and 2020.[5] On September 18, 2013, Kawasaki Heavy Industries was awarded a nearly $1.8 billion contract for the order, comprising a base order of 92 cars for the LIRR (costing $355 million) with options for an additional 584 cars (304 for the LIRR and 280 for MNR). Funding for the 92-car base order was included in the MTA's 2010-2014 Capital Plan, with funding for the rest of the order included in the 2015-2019 and future capital plans.[2][5] In July 2014, the MTA forecast a need of 416 M9 and M9A cars for the LIRR (180 cars to replace the M3 fleet and 236 cars for East Side Access-related increases) and up to 188 M9 cars for Metro-North, for a total order of 604 cars.[6] Of the 416 cars ordered for the LIRR, 160 would be M9A cars, a separate order to be paid for with federal funding from the Federal Transit Administration under the East Side Access project.[3] The MTA issued a request for proposals for 60-160 M9A cars in December 2017.[4] In June 2018, Metro-North announced that they would elect to not exercise their options for the M9 order, instead overhauling their M3A units to extend their lifespan.[7]

Delivery schedule[edit]

The 416 cars of the LIRR's M9/M9A order is split into four parts. In July 2014, the delivery schedule was as follows: 92 base order cars (to be completed by April 2018) and 88 option 1 cars (to be completed by November 2018) to replace the M3 fleet as well as 76 option order cars (to be completed by August 2020) and 160 M9A cars (to be completed by October 2021) to be used for East Side Access service increases. 14 pilot cars were to be delivered September 2016 for testing, with the production cars being delivered at a rate of 12 cars per month. The balance of 188 cars for Metro-North was expected to begin delivery in December 2018 and be completed February 2020.[6][8] By June 2016, the M9 cars that were ordered for the LIRR were expected to be delivered starting in November 2018.[8]

By October 2016, the MTA forecast ordering 140-170 cars for Metro-North, which would bring the total size of the M9/M9A order to a maximum of 586 cars.[3] The production of the base order had suffered delays, and the first eight-car pilot train was now scheduled for testing at the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. facility in Pueblo, Colorado from June to August 2017, with the first fourteen-car pilot train on the LIRR was scheduled for testing from October to December 2017. The 92-car base order was now scheduled for delivery between June 2018 and January 2019.

By October 2017, car production was delayed again as the 92-car base order was now scheduled for delivery between July 2018 and March 2019, at a cost of $393 million.[9] Construction delays in the East Side Access project meant that delivery of M9 and M9A railcars intended for use on that line had been deferred. An M9 trainset was delivered to Pueblo for testing in 2017, but LIRR field tests had been pushed back to April 2018.[4]

The M9s to be delivered will come in two schemes. Some will sport a yellow head end, while others will sport a blue and gray head end and blue and yellow stripe along the front side. The latter scheme comes from a design by the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, which had also redesigned several New York City Subway R160s.


The M9s will have numerous customer amenity improvements. The cars will have closed loop seat armrests similar to those on the M8s, wider seats, electrical outlets on both sides of a car in each row of seats, four 32-inch multimedia screens in each car, four to six additional seats per married pair, as well as powered doors on the "B" end of each car. The flip seats in the cars will have suspension systems so they do not slam. There will be exterior destination signs that are visible on each end as the train approaches a station, to let passengers know where the train is going. All M9s will be equipped with positive train control (PTC). The cars will have CCTV cameras, allowing the train crew to view the passenger areas of the train. They will also feature LED displays that show the current station, the following station, and the train's destination, and automated announcements. The cars also have external public address speakers, and electronic destination signs.[3]

The M9As will have USB ports installed in each alternating current electrical outlet, as well as powered bathroom doors, stainless steel urinals in each bathroom, and Gorilla Glass side windows that do not haze, fade or crystallize.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kikuchi, Takahiro (December 4, 2014). "Transportation Systems" (PDF). Mitsubishi Electric.
  2. ^ a b "Governor Cuomo Announces $1.8 Billion Award To Build 676 New LIRR and Metro-North Rail Cars". Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. September 28, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting October 2016" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 26, 2016. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "LIRR seeks M9A EMUs". Railway Age. December 6, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Bowen, Douglas John (September 17, 2013). "MTA taps Kawasaki for M-9 railcar order". Railway Age. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting: July 2014" (PDF). MTA. July 28, 2014.
  7. ^ "Metro-North/LIRR Committee Meeting: June 2018". MTA. June 18, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "LIRR train delivery pushed back again". Newsday. June 20, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting: October 2017" (PDF). MTA. October 23, 2017.

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