New Technology Train (NTT) is the collective term for the modern passenger fleet of the New York City Subway entering service since the turn of the 21st Century. This includes the current R142, R142A, R143, and R160 models, the R179 model currently under construction, and the planned R211 model. Sometimes referred to as New Millennium Trains, they are known for improvements in technology, energy efficiency, reliability, and comfort along with advanced passenger information systems. Much of the engineering and construction efforts for the fleet have been done by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Bombardier Transportation. Alstom also helped to build some of the trains.
List of New Technology Trains Edit
This is a list of all NTT trains operated by the New York City Subway, as well as future trains and retired trains.
- R142 – Built by Bombardier Transportation. The first production model of NTT trains ever built. Built for the A Division. Entered service on July 10, 2000. Assigned to the 2, 4 and 5 routes. The R142s are similar to the R142As.
- R142A – Built by the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company. The second model of NTT trains. Used on the A Division. Entered service on July 10, 2000, the same day the R142s entered service. Assigned to the 4 and 6 routes. The R142As are similar to the R142s.
- R143 – Built by Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. The third model of NTTs, and the first model of NTTs for the B Division. Used solely on the L route for CBTC. Entered service on February 12, 2002. Equipped with CBTC, the first subway car to be equipped with this feature. The R143s are similar to the R160s and future R179s.
- R160 – Built by Alstom and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Used on the B Division. The fourth model of NTT trains. There are two subtypes since these cars were built by two different manufacturers. R160As were built by Alstom, while R160Bs were built by Kawasaki. Entered service between 2006 and 2010. R160As are assigned to the E, F, J/Z, L, and M routes. R160Bs are assigned to the N, Q and W routes. Sixty-four R160As have CBTC and most of which are used on the L every AM rush hour, two round trips each. The R160s are similar to the R143s and future R179s.
- R179 – Now being built by Bombardier Transportation. To be used on the B Division. The first train delivered in September 2016. All will be delivered by 2018. The R179s are similar to the R143s and R160s.
- R211 – Still being planned. Manufacturer is to be announced when the contract is awarded sometime in 2017. Will be used on the B Division, as well as the Staten Island Railway. Ten cars are open-gangway experimental prototype cars. Will possibly also have Wi-Fi, security cameras, digital video screens and electronic charging stations.
The New Technology program emerged from modernization efforts by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) beginning in 1982, when the subway "was on the verge of collapse". The New Technology program officially began in 1988, the first effort at a technologically-advanced subway car since the R44 in the early 1970s.
In 1997, the first mass order of New Technology trains was placed for the R142 and R142A trains of the A Division (awarded to Bombardier and Kawasaki respectively), in order to replace the final 1,410 Redbird cars in operation. In 1998, a smaller contract of 216 cars, consisting of 108 in the base order and 108 in the optional order, was awarded to Kawasaki Heavy Industries, to build the R143 model for the B Division's BMT Eastern Division - solely the BMT Canarsie Line's L train. The first R142s and R142As entered service beginning in July 2000. The R143s began operation in February 2002.
In July 2002, the MTA awarded contracts to Kawasaki and Alstom Transportation for the R160 order for the B Division to replace many 1960s- and 1970s-era cars. The first R160 train, built by Kawasaki under the contract R160B, began service on August 17, 2006, on the N, with a total of 1,834 cars delivered by May 6, 2010.
On June 4, 2012, Bombardier was awarded the R179 contract for 310 new B Division cars to replace the 240 R32s and 48 R42s, which were built in the 1960s and have run well past their expected lives. In December 2012, preliminary designs began on the R211 B Division contract, which entails 1,545 cars in order, to replace the R46 fleet and the Staten Island Railway's car fleet of R44s as well as to supply the future T route for phase II of the Second Avenue Subway; both R44 and R46 models were built in the 1970s. The R179 order fell significantly behind schedule, however, with the first test train delivered in September 2016, while the R211 contract is expected to be awarded in 2017.
Design and features Edit
The NTT models utilize a common car design; stainless-steel car bodies with a black front fascia on the "A" (cab) cars, open lexan-glass non-cab ends, and electronic outer route signs. The cars feature a white fiberglass interior with blue-gray plastic bench seats both to combat vandalism, along with bright fluorescent lighting and LED interior passenger information signs. They also feature bench-style seats, designed with lumbar supports. The trains utilize an airbag suspension (replacing conventional springs) for a more comfortable ride, and employ regenerative braking which converts the energy from brake application into electricity that is fed back into the third rail. All NTT trains are capable of being equipped with communications-based train control (CBTC) technology, which is installed in the "A" cars behind the motorman's cab. Only the R143s, as well as sixty-four R160s, have been upgraded for automated service, on the L route.
The NTTs are the first rolling stock in the system to utilize pre-recorded train announcements, as opposed to live conductor announcements. The recorded announcements are used for station information, closing doors, and other general messages. Station announcements rely on a wheel-rotation counter to make accurate stop announcements. The recordings began in the late 1990s and feature Bloomberg Radio on-air speakers, who volunteered at the request of their employer Michael Bloomberg, who would later become mayor of New York City. Voices include Diane Thompson (for the 1, 2, and 3), Jessica Ettinger Gottesman (for the 4, 5, and 6), Annie Bergen (for the 7 train and the 42nd Street Shuttle), Catherine Cowdery (for the E, J, L, M, N, Q, R, W, and Z trains), Kathleen Campion (for the A, C, and F trains, as well as the Franklin Avenue Shuttle and Rockaway Park Shuttle), and Charlie Pellett (for other announcements).
Female voices are typically used for station, route and transfer announcements. Pellett's recordings are used for most of the remaining announcements, most notably "Stand clear of the closing doors, please" prior to train doors closing. With regards to why certain messages are voiced by males and others by females, MTA spokesperson Gene Sansone said in 2006 that, "Most of the orders are given by a male voice, while informational messages come from females. Even though this happened by accident, it is a lucky thing because a lot of psychologists agree that people are more receptive to orders from men and information from women". Manual announcements can still be made over the public address system by train operators and conductors.
Electronic strip mapsEdit
The R142/R142As and R143s feature electronic strip maps. These maps utilize a total of 63 amber LED lights, numbered 001–063, to display stops, with a plastic card on top showing the route, stations, and transfers. A light will flash when a stop is being approached, and while idle at that stop. Lights turned off indicate a stop already reached, or a part of the route not serviced by that particular train. LED arrows at either end of the map indicate the direction of service. While an upgrade from static route maps, the strip maps can only facilitate one service and must be turned off when a train is used on another route. The first 780 R142 cars (half from the 239th Street shop and the other half from the East 180th Street shop) currently assigned to operate the 2 and 5 routes at any given time have combined strip maps showing both services, as the 2 and 5 have large amounts of route overlaps on the IRT White Plains Road, Eastern Parkway, and Nostrand Avenue lines. The rest of the new tech A Division cars have individual strip maps for the 4 and 6 respectively, and the new tech R143 B Division cars also have individual strip maps for the L.
The R160s, as will the future R179s and R211s, employ an advanced alternative to strip maps, called the Flexible Information and Notice Display, or FIND. This includes an LCD screen displaying the route, route information, and advertisements, as well as a dynamic red, yellow, and green LED strip map that displays the next ten stations, plus five consecutive "further stops" to riders. There are three of these in every car. The display updates the stations at every stop, also giving the number of stops to each station listed. This allows for instant route or line changes with the correct information, which includes, but is not limited to, omitting certain stops (displayed as "Will not stop" in red).