Maybe Kawasaki will be better with the M9s - they sure are taking their merry time building them.
I don't understand why but apparently they're having trouble with these. All they really needed to do was take the M8 and remove the AC bits. Only explanation I can think of is maybe the LIRR tried to customize things.
It's probably a few things. Supplier requirements, bad design brought on by consultants and customers living in la la land, the FRA, crappy track bouncing everything to bits, and the 'maintenance' practices US RRs are famous for, i.e. run to destruction and then replace.
Agree on bad design choices and the FRA. Though our track doesn't seem to be much more crappy than the track out there. I stopped short of suggesting maintenance practices because MNRR is probably the best the US has to offer w/r/t passenger equipment maintenance - if they can't keep something in top shape, no one can.
Corporately, Bombardier's in deep trouble - they're basically trying to sell or give away all their aviation assets to stay afloat now. The Chinese? Who cares how crappy it is, US transit agencies will buy because they're cheap, and China knows it. Just like everything else we buy from them.
Wasn't long ago that Bombardier was robbing their rail industry to prop up their aviation division. They seem to be following the path of Sears and GE in flailing about mismanaging themselves into oblivion. CRRC seems to have done a decent enough job with Sydney's Watarah bilevel EMUs, but the state also wisely included a 25 year maintenance agreement in the order.
With exception of the PA4s (retired early for no good reason), everything Kawasaki has made for North America is still running. In that time there's been a long string of retired early lemons made by other mfgrs: M6, WMATA 5k, HHP-8, Comet III, those German MBTA cars (CTRail's desperate lease notwithstanding). Losing Kawasaki would be quite unfortunate.