The multi-system trains will be similar in appearance to Metro-North's M-8 emus (pictured), 430 of which have been ordered from Kawasaki. The final batch of these trains is currently being delivered to MTA.

The M-9s will operate on LIRR's 750V dc electrification system and 11kV ac and 25kV ac systems on the Northeast Corridor.

The official LIRR request, approved by the MTA Board last week, notes that the M-9s will replace an equivalent number of M-3 vehicles. Three bidders competed for the order and Kawasaki's bid was deemed the highest-rated proposal with the lowest unit price and overall price.

Though the initial order of M-9s will be used by LIRR, the design will include reversible third rail collector shoes to allow for potential future operation on the Metro-North network. LIRR operates with overrunning third rail shoes, while Metro-North utilises shoes running underneath the third rail. Both Metro-North and LIRR have reportedly tested this concept with existing M-7 and M7A emus.