New M9 trains set to be delivered in August

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Jul. 25–The primary of the Lengthy Island Rail Street’s subsequent technology of prepare automobiles must be delivered subsequent month, the top of the trains’ producer mentioned Wednesday. 

Responding to a request from the MTA Board to come back earlier than its members and reply for the delays within the rollout of the LIRR’s new “M9” trains, Kawasaki Chief Govt Officer Yoshinori Kanehana and a crew of executives from the corporate appeared on the board’s month-to-month assembly in Manhattan and supplied assurances that the Japanese manufacturing big is dedicated to finishing the mission promptly.

“It’s true that the M9 mission has had points. That isn’t by anyone’s selection. However we’ve been working diligently to get better as a lot time as doable,” Kanehana mentioned.

In September 2013, the railroad awarded a $1.eight billion contract to Kawasaki to design and manufacture the automobiles, that are anticipated to handle the LIRR’s booming ridership and change the ageing 1980s-era M3 electrical automobiles. LIRR ridership is predicted to develop additional as soon as the railroad hyperlinks to Grand Central Terminal in 2022.

The primary 92 automobiles — priced about $403 million — initially had been speculated to roll out in September 2017, however their manufacturing has been besieged by setbacks, together with from design issues and a derailment final yr of a number of of the automobiles earlier than they may very well be delivered. The LIRR anticipated to debut the trains in Might, however railroad president Phillip Eng mentioned some new points that arose in testing once more pushed again the rollout.

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The railroad has exercised an choice to purchase an extra 110 automobiles, bringing the price of the fleet of 202 to $734 million.

Kanehana mentioned with about 80 % of all excellent issues mounted, he expects the LIRR to start accepting the primary 41 new trains automobiles “earlier than the tip of August.” Testing of a number of the new trains on the LIRR’s tracks was scheduled to begin Wednesday evening.

Among the many points nonetheless to be resolved, Kawasaki officers mentioned, is an issue with the trains’ computerized pace management perform and with a brand new computerized station identification system on the automobiles. Kawasaki officers mentioned the repair includes fine-tuning the precise location of the LIRR’s 124 stations.

“We share the targets set by the LIRR that the M9 automobiles must be very dependable from day one in all passenger service,” Kanehana mentioned.

Following the same strategy it took with the contractors behind the MTA’s constructive prepare management mission, which has been beset with delays, the MTA Board final month despatched a letter to Kawasaki executives requesting that they seem earlier than them to reply for the latest issues with manufacturing the brand new trains.

MTA Board member Kevin Regulation, who represents Suffolk County, on Wednesday thanked Kanehana and his crew for exhibiting respect to the board, and for his or her “very reassuring” replace.

LIRR President Phillip Eng equally counseled Kawasaki officers for attending the assembly in individual — a response that he mentioned was “indicative of your dedication.”

Additionally on Wednesday, MTA chairman Patrick Foye introduced the creation of a “prepare pace and security job pressure” that will likely be tasked with discovering methods to extend prepare speeds.

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Though the duty pressure, which will likely be chaired by former Federal Aviation Administration head Jane Garvey, was created to give attention to subways, Foye mentioned he’ll direct its members to additionally take a look at the MTA’s commuter railroads — the LIRR and Metro-North — “to enhance speeds and add capability by reviewing civil pace restrictions and ensuring that pace alerts are correctly calibrated.”

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