Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. is poised to get what appears to be the largest single contract in its history.

The Long Island and Metro-North committees of the Metropolitan Transportation Agency jointly approved Kawasaki's bid of more than $1.8 billion to provide M-9 cars to the Long Island and Metro-North railroads in the New York City metropolitan area. An agenda for Monday's meeting said Kawasaki's bid was chosen over two others.

The full Metropolitan Transportation Agency board will vote on the contract Wednesday.

The contract calls for design, manufacture and testing of 92 cars initially for the Long Island Railroad, with options for an additional 584 cars for both the Long Island and Metro-North railroads. The cars would be built in Lincoln.

MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said the initial portion of the contract is worth $355.5 million and is in the rail system's current capital budget that goes through next year. The remainder of the contract would be dependent on the availability of future funding from 2015 to 2019, she said.

Assuming there is money and MTA exercises the options, Kawasaki would build as many as 304 additional cars for the Long Island Railroad and as many as 280 cars for Metro-North Railroad, Anders said.

Mike Boyle, Kawasaki's Lincoln plant manager and a company vice president, said the MTA contract, including the future options, would be Kawasaki Rail Car's largest single contract to date. He declined to comment further because the contract has not been approved.

The MTA contract wasn't the only good news to come Kawasaki's way.

Last week, the general manager of Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Area Transit Authority told the authority's board the rail system would exercise an option to purchase an additional 220 rail cars from Kawasaki.

That will be worth an additional $400 million and bring the value of Kawasaki's contract with the D.C. authority to about $1.5 billion.

Kawasaki signed an $886 million deal in 2010 to build 428 new cars for the authority, and earlier this year, the authority exercised a $215 million option for an additional 100 cars.

Boyle also declined to comment on that contract option because it has yet to be officially approved.

Despite the size of the contracts, Boyle said they would not lead to additional employment at the Lincoln rail car plant, which currently employs 600 people. Boyle said Kawasaki's full Lincoln operation, which also includes manufacturing of personal watercraft and work and recreational vehicles, employs 1,700, he said.

Reach Matt Olberding at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.