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Plan To Go Ahead For New Train Cars On Metro-North, LIRR

Current LIRR Cars Are 3 Decades Old
FILE -- Passengers board LIRR train in Hicksville, Long Island. (file/credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

FILE — Passengers board LIRR train in Hicksville, Long Island. (file/credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday approved a nearly $2 billion contract for new cars on the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road lines.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will receive 676 new cars for the two railroad systems. In all, about half the LIRR fleet will be replaced.

The new cars on both lines would feature more and roomier seats, upgraded air conditioning and larger windows, WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported Tuesday.

The current LIRR cars are showing their age – at 30 years old. In transportation terms, that makes them antiques.

The LIRR plans to replace all 180 of its old M-3 cars, which sport duct-taped repairs and paneled walls as dated as their vinyl seats.

The plan is to roll out 584 new electric cars starting in 2017. They are not yet designed, but they will be an upgrade even over the newer M7 cars in the fleet.

The new train cars will have wi-fi, as well as electrical outlets in every row. They will also feature eight more seats, sliding doors between cars, improved air conditioning, bigger windows, electronic signs, and a clearer public address system.

Middle seats will also be wider.

Riders can offer input on the process. The Commuter Council is soliciting suggestions, such as tinted windows and cup holders.

The MTA Board on Wednesday voted in favor of the first phase of the plan, which calls for 92 cars for 2017.

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