The Long Island Railroad's first new train cars in 17 years made their debuts on Wednesday, Sept. 11, just in time for the morning commute as they rolled out of Huntington.

Known as the "M9", the new cars improve upon the most successful and popular features of the MTA's two recent electric car fleets, the M7s electric cars, and the M8 cars serving Metro-North's New Haven Line, railroad officials said.

"These new cars will offer new amenities and a better environment for our customers," Railroad President Phillip Eng said. "Even if your train isn't composed of these cars, there's a good chance they will benefit you because as we receive more of them, we will lengthen many of our busiest trains, providing more seats for more customers."

The fleet will consist of 202 cars, the last of which are expected to begin passenger service in March 2021. The cars will have exterior destination signs on the front of cars that are visible to passengers as the train approaches the station, similar to the new cars on Metro-North's New Haven Line.

And, perhaps best of all, they have electrical outlets on both sides of the car in each row of seats, wider seats, up to six additional seats in each pair of cars., and closed-loop armrests that won't tear garments or catch bag straps.

The cars also feature an innovation that is new for the first time in the region: an electronic display that will let passengers know what car within the train they are seated (for example, "Car 3 of 10") which will be of help to customers exiting at stations where not every car will meet the platform.

Walking from car to car is also easier because between every other car there will be a door that operates at the push of a button.

The bathroom experience is also improved with no touch flushing, sink water and hand soap and drying hands.

Other highlights include additional speakers in the vestibule for clearer public announcements, threshold illuminating lights at the side and end doors, and window tinting.

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on North Rockland Daily Voice