LIRR to introduce long-delayed fleet of rail cars

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The LIRR is set to put the long-delayed new M9 train cars into limited passenger service Wednesday morning. 

The M9 cars are the railroad’s first new model since 2002. The LIRR says the M9’s improve upon the features of the MTA's two recent electric car fleets, the LIRR's M7 electric cars and the M8 cars that serve Metro-North's New Haven Line.

The fleet will consist of 202 cars, the first eight cars entering service Wednesday for the 6:50 a.m. train out of Hunting to Hunters Point.

“The seats are wider, we have bright LED lighting, the bathrooms are touchless and they provide a much more customer-friendly amenity,” says Long Island Rail Road President Phil Eng.

There are four to six additional seats per car, power outlets at the end of each row, new displays to tell riders which car they are in and new announcements.

Traveling between cars will also be easier, thanks to buttons to open the car doors.

The M9’s were initially set to join the LIRR's fleet in 2017. 

In July 2019, manufacturer Kawasaki Rail Car told the MTA it would finally be ready to roll out in the summer.

"The last thing we wanted to do was to put this into revenue service, have an issue, and have to take it out of service," says Eng. "It was much more important for us to ensure that all of this testing was done right."

The LIRR says that all of the 202 new M9's will be on the tracks by March 2021.

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