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Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. has been awarded an $1.8 billion contract to design, manufacture, test and deliver a base order of 92 M9 rail cars for MTA Long Island Road (LIRR). The contract includes options for up to 584 cars for LIRR and MTA Metro-North Railroad, according to a blog about the LIRR, which was posted yesterday.The base order would provide LIRR with enough cars to replace its aging M3 fleet, stated the blog, "The Long Island Rail Road Today." Funding for the order will come from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's 2009-2014 capital budget. The cars would be designed to operate on either LIRR or Metro-North, the blog stated.Meanwhile, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) plans to exercise an option in its 2010 contract to buy an additional 220 cars from Kawasaki by the end of 2016, The Washington Post reported last week. WMATA already has purchased 528 cars from Kawasaki.