WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The Metropolitan Transportation Association and Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. have entered into a new contract for up to $1.83 billion to design and build the next generation of M9 rail cars for Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week.
The MTA expects up to 676 cars will be assembled at Kawasaki’s plant in Yonkers, anticipating up to 1,500 people will be employed in New York State.
The rail cars are expected to replace the 1980s-era M3 cars that serve on the LIRR’s electric branches and Metro-North’s Harlem and Hudson lines.
“We have been constantly working to improve the state’s infrastructure and transit systems to better serve New Yorkers,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This contract will not only make the Metro-North and LIRR more efficient and resilient, but the additional cars will be assembled right here in New York, helping create jobs and grow the regional economy. I thank Kawasaki Rail Car for their partnership and look forward to seeing further upgrades to our mass transit system.”
A portion of this contract and related development costs are funded with $355.5 million from the MTA’s 2010-14 Capital Plan. The initial contract will provide 92 cars to the LIRR and if funding is available in the forthcoming 2015-2019 MTA Capital Plan, and if the railroads choose to exercise future options, Kawasaki will manufacture up to 304 additional cars for the LIRR and up to 280 cars for Metro-North.
The MTA said the new M9 railcars will have the most successful and popular features of the railroads’ two recent electric cars – the M7s that run on the LIRR and Harlem and Hudson Metro-North lines, and the M8s that serve Metro-North’s New Haven Line.
"I am happy to congratulate Kawasaki Rail Car on winning the M-9 contract," Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) said in a statement. "I have had the privilege of working with Kawasaki since they moved to Yonkers. Their presence supports the regional economy and sustains hundreds of jobs in the City's downtown. These are some of the reasons why I am proud to support them and look forward to many more years of partnership."
Kawasaki provided the most attractive pricing after the MTA advertised a Request for Proposal in 2012, the transportation agency said.