“Kawasaki is proud to be a partner with the (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) to continue to provide better, more technologically advanced rail cars to its customers, as an efficient means of transportation for a better and greener future,” the Yonkers-based company’s spokeswoman Laura Alemzadeh told me this afternoon.
When I wrote the article about the order for the M-9 cars for today’s edition of The Journal News, I had not been able to reach Kawasaki officials for comment. Apparently, that was a matter of crossed signals.
Alemzadeh reached out to me this afternoon to stress that, yes, Kawasaki is happy to talk about the work. (Her comments were also added to the on-line version of the story.)
She also offered more details about how the cars will be produced.
The car “shells” will be made at the company’s Kawasaki plant, but the final assembly, testing and the project management will be handled in Yonkers. Also, support for the warranty on the cars will be handled in Yonkers.
The contract, she said, would support 200 to 250 jobs.
As expected, the MTA board approved the contract today.
It first requires Kawasaki to produce 92 of the new cars for Long Island Rail Road. It also includes options for the railroads and their parent agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to order 584 more, including 280 for Metro-North. They would run on the Harlem and Hudson lines, which now boast the M-7s as their newest cars.
They’re expected to begin rolling out on Long Island in 2017. The earliest that they would carry Westchester and Putnam residents for Metro-North would be in 2018.
The M-9s will have many of the same features as the M-7s, including wider windows than those in older cars, and single doors rather than double-doors.
But they will also feature the pocket doors at the ends of each car, which slide to the side with the push of a large button, rather than the heavy hinged doors.
The M-8s, which Metro-North is still rolling out on the New Haven Line, also have the sliding pocket doors.