LIRR Metropolitan Commuter Car History

December 30th, 1968: The ultimate train cars of the future, what you might see out of the Jetson's, embark on their maiden voyage on a cold morning from Babylon to Penn Station. Train 93 is made up of the new Metropolitan M1 cars, marking the beginning of the modern era thanks to Governor Rockefeller. It departs at 5:52 AM and arrives at 7:10 AM. Notable LIRR employees are among the passengers including William J. Ronan, the first chairman, who would pass away at the age of 101 in 2014. From then to 1974, a total of 770 M1 cars (9001-9770) go into service replacing train cars that had been in service since the 1920's!

1984-1986: LIRR supplements the service fleet with the compatible M3 cars, which possess a different train horn and sliding conductor windows. A total of 174 cars numbered 9771-9944. Unfortunately, cars 9891-9892 become the "Ferguson Cars" and are renumbered 9945-9946.

September 10th, 1985: First M3 revenue consist originates at Jamaica and terminates at Penn Station.

1999: Long Island Rail Road signs a contract with Bombardier to build a brand new passenger car to replace the soon to be 40 year old M1 cars.

October 30th, 2002: Bombardier's new car, the M7, goes on its' inaugural passenger trip from Long Beach to Penn Station. Immediately following, from 2003-2007, the M1's are phased out after 40 years of service. On November 4th, 2006 a Farewell to the M1 fan trip is held. From 2002-2007, a total of 836 M7 cars (7001-7836) are delivered.

2014: Long Island Rail Road signs a contract with Kawasaki to replace the 174 remaining M3 cars. An entirely different fleet, designated the M9 will not be compatible with the M7. Just like the M1's, they will be numbered in the same manner as the M1's (9000 series), but possess different qualities compared to their cousins. Just like the M3's this supplements the fleet in anticipation of the Ronkonkoma Branch Double Tracking, The Third Track Project, and Eastside Access to Grand Central.

September 11th, 2019: After several delays due to testing, the first revenue M9 departs Huntington at 6:50 AM bound for Hunterspoint Avenue.   Research: Matthew Kobel
LIRR M1 - M3 Spotting Features
Feature M1 M3
Builder/Numbers Budd in 10/1968  #9001-9620 Budd/Transit America 1984 #9771-9944 (1)
Builder/Numbers Budd/GE in 1972  #9621-9770  
Cab/Fireman Window Vertical slider inside Horizontal slider outside
Air intake Vent   Center Window
Side Door Lip   Y - yellow
Lights behind Cab 2:  apply and release 3: apply, release, hand brake on
Destination Sign "Identraloop" signs covered plated over with metal No Seal
Chains Fiber glassed over Y
Truck Stabilizers Y - smaller Y - larger
Seat Colors State and City emblems Blue and Burgundy

M1 #9024 M3 #9883 windows Mineola 1990's
Archive: Mike Boland

LIRR M1 #9024 with the inside vertical slider drop sash window and the 2 "apply and release" lights behind the cab window.


LIRR M3 #9883 with the horizontal outside slider window and the 3 "apply, release, hand brake on"  lights behind the cab window.
      Info: Mike Boland


LIRR M1 - M1 Page
Merrick-Brooklyn-Ave_entering-station_viewW_winter-action_2004.jpg (110220 bytes)
  M1's don't have thin vertical compartment doors

lirr9001-M1.jpg (150852 bytes)LIRR M1 #9001 LIRR M1 #9001 - #9770  The original LIRR M1 car order was for 620 cars (9001-9620) and also had a add-on option for 150 more cars (9621-9770) that were built by Budd/GE in 1972. The cab/fireman side sash window vertically raised and lowered and slid neatly inside the body panels. Research: Mike McEnaney

M1's had the side destination "Identraloop" signs covered plated over with metal, no lip on the bottom of the side doors, smaller truck stabilizers, no vent in the middle, drop sash window with only the two "apply and release" lights behind the cab window.

LIRR M3 - M3 Page

LIRR M3 #9771 - #9946 The M3 car numbers were 9771-9944 for the fleet of 174 that were originally built.  Note (1): The car pair #9945-9946 were once #9891-9892 and were re-numbered after the Colin Ferguson; "Long Island Rail Road massacre" shooting incident in 12/07/1993.  

The conductor/engineer cab had the horizontal slider window and an air intake vent at center window,  Thin vertical compartment door in front which houses the chains to prevent people from falling to the sides between two sets of married pairs. M-3 has air intake vent at center window, slider window at conductor/engineering cab, no sealed over destination sign.  The M3 cab windows slid along the outside on large tracks, yellow lips on the bottom of the side passenger doors, and 3 lights behind the cab window.

lirr9928-M3.jpg (152095 bytes)
LIRR M3 #9928
lirr9825-M3_Woodside.jpg (48237 bytes)
LIRR M3 #9825 Woodside
lirr9845-M3_Far-Rockaway_LeonardWilson.jpg (49286 bytes)
LIRR M3 #9845 Far Rockaway Photo: Leonard Wilson