New LIRR M9 cars end of story        

New LIRR M9 cars end of story        
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority announcement that the Long Island Rail Road’s $734 million procurement of 202 new M9 train cars awarded to Kawasaki Rail Car in 2013 is finally complete is not the end of this story.

All of this new equipment was supposed to be delivered before initiating the new LIRR East Side Access service to Grand Central Madison. Delivery and acceptance of the last car almost five years late leaves a number of unanswered questions.       .

What was the cost for the LIRR to return 100 M3 cars that had been mothballed several years ago back into service? What about daily maintenance and operating costs keeping this retired equipment returned to passenger service?

Due to a shortage of equipment resulting in periodic overcrowding, how many ten-car trains had to be run with eight cars?

The LIRR has had to keep its own independent engineering project management oversight firm, engineering, procurement, and other payroll employees assigned to this project for 60 months beyond the originally forecasted project completion date.

What has this cost the LIRR? Has the LIRR submitted delay claims to Kawasaki Rail Car, for reimbursement of these costs? Why should commuters and taxpayers be stuck with the tab?

What is the current status of the purchase of additional new LIRR cars? Will the LIRR do a “lessons learned” from this car procurement? Perhaps this will benefit the upcoming M9A car procurement.

The LIRR 1960’s motto “Line of the Dashing Dan” in 2023 continues to be “Line of the Slow Moving Sloth” when it comes to purchasing new rail cars. .

Larry Penner
Great Neck
Larry Penner is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously served as a former Director for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office of Operations and Program Management.


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