NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s been a long time coming. On Tuesday, the Long Island Railroad finally rolled out the first new trains in nearly two decades.
They’ll go into service for passengers starting Wednesday.
CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge got a look and a ride on the first generation of new cars.
CBS2 got to hop onboard one of the highly anticipated new M9 trains with LIRR president Phil Eng riding from Jamaica station to Hicksville.
The first eight of 202 cars will start taking passengers on Wednesday, as commuters say they have suffered through overcrowding and delays far too long.
“I did notice as it rolled in that train looks pretty clean… it’s always about time for upgrades to public transportation,” LIRR rider Ryan Lott said.
The new trains were ordered back in 2013, but were delayed repeatedly due to a series of problems.
“There were a number of changes that occurred… clip modifications needed to be made,” Eng said.
The M9 replaces the 1980’s era M3 cars. The $550 million new fleet includes:
- More seats
- Clearer public announcements
- Automatic doors that let you move between cars with the push of a button
- Upgraded armrests that don’t rip your pants pockets like the old ones used to
“On the technology side outlets at every seat. Bigger bathrooms. The signs now tell you what car you’re in. There’s a lot of improvements,” Barry Johnson, a road foreman for LIRR added.
Most importantly, security enhancements like Positive Train Control have been added for a safer ride.
“For example take the brake system the computer in this actually controls the break right down to a stop,” Johnson said.
Officials say the new trains will also ease congestion on the LIRR’s ever expanding ridership.
“LIRR ridership is booming. Last year we had record ridership. This year we’ve exceeded last year’s ridership by over 1 million riders to date,” Eng said.
That’s 90 million riders expected this year alone, who will soon get to experience that new “car” smell.
Every month the new cars will be rolled out until all 202 are active by 2021.