Jamaica Center-bound MTA NYC Subway J train. Photo: Wikipedia

The New York Times has reported that Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries is set to manufacture the first of more than 1,000 new subway cars for New York City’s mass transit system.

The board overseeing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is yet to approve Kawasaki’s contract. But the Times says the Japanese maker of trains and other heavy equipment could ultimately scoop up more than US$3.7 billion.

New York is in the midst of a costly modernization effort to fix its ailing subway system, which serves nearly 6 million riders daily.

Kawasaki is scheduled to deliver its first subway cars to the city in July 2020.

CRRC Corp, one of China’s top makers of rail equipment, was reportedly passed over for the New York subway contact in August last year. The Chinese company had teamed with Canada’s Bombardier to increase its odds of winning the contract — but to no avail.

CRRC had previously won hefty contracts for subway cars in Chicago, Boston and other US markets.