a few weeks ago I came up with an updated listing for the M9 and M9A procurement contracts taken from LIRR Board Materials.
I mentioned the M9A contract has a provision for 30 'LIRR Option Coaches' - the purpose of which was discussed in this thread thereafter.
3. The M9A procurement contract is planned to be awarded in the 2nd quarter of 2019 and will be segmented as followed:
Besides the expected regular 416 LIRR M9/M9A, there is a strange mention of 30 'LIRR Option Coaches'. I could not find out anything further about these mysterious coaches from older or more recent board meetings so far. For my understanding, a coach is a non-powered passenger car, a trailer. I have learned on Wiki the M9/M9A specification indeed seems to include something like a 'C' or single car with 114 seats compared to 111 and 101 in the A and B car.
- 100 (up to) LIRR Base Cars
114 LIRR Option Cars (60 planned M9A + 54 previously M9 Cars)
214 Total regular LIRR Cars -- totalling to up to 416 with the M9, 180 for M3 replacement and up to 236 for ESA service and other service expansions
30 LIRR Option Coaches -- more on that topic below
244 Total Cars LIRR
200 MNR Option Cars
444 Total M9A Cars
I only just discovered that in the December LIRR Board meeting, the President Mr. Eng made comments allowing to assume that the 30 M9A option coaches are indeed intended for diesel operation
He talks about fleet enlargement, how he changed the M9A contract and then mentions provisions have been made for diesel cars in the contract.
From the written board minutes (http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/pdf/ ... 0_LIRR.pdf
In addition to the current Kawasaki orders for the M9, President Eng stated that he has directed staff to modify the M9A procurement to make the delivery schedule part of the best value process. Those proposers that can get us the cars the quickest and still deliver quality will be scored higher. He has also added diesel coaches to this procurement, as we know they are much needed on our branches that we have not yet been able to electrify. Our goal here is to provide the capacity to our customers on a regular basis so that we are not experiencing crowded trains [...].
If these plans go ahead, by 2023-2025 the LIRR will have the possibility to operate, I presume, up to five 6 car trains formed of these coaches on the Pt Jeff Branch. Capacity of such a train would be about 4.5 C3 cars so the five 4 car C3 sets operating on the Pt Jeff branch could be freed up for other purposes across the railroad. And as the DE/DM Loco fleet is scheduled to begin to be replaced at about the same time, it would be a good opportunity to purchase the additional units required to operate the M9A trailers.