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The New York City Subway is a large rapid transit system and has a large fleet of rolling stock.

OverviewEdit

As of July 2014, there are approximately 7,424 cars on the NYCT roster. A typical revenue train consists of 8 to 10 cars, although shuttles can be as short as two, and the 7 runs 11-car trains. Train lengths range from about 150 to 600 feet (46 to 183 m) long. As a general rule, trains on A Division lines inherited from the IRT (designated with numbers, plus the 42nd Street Shuttle) are shorter and narrower than those that operate on B Division lines inherited from BMT/IND (designated with letters). The A Division and B Division trains operate only in their own division; operating in the other division is not allowed. This is mainly because the IRT sections have narrower tunnel segments, tighter curves, and tighter platform clearances than the BMT/IND sections. IRT Division trains would have an unacceptably large gap between the platform and train if they were allowed in the BMT/IND Division. Likewise, BMT/IND trains would not fit in the IRT tunnels and stations. The safety train stop (trip cock) mechanism between divisions is also incompatible, being located on opposite sides of the track and train in each division. Service and maintenance trains are composed of IRT sized cars, which do not carry passengers, and can operate on either division as the safety train stop is built on both sides of the trucks. However, all rolling stock, in either A or B Division, runs on the same 4 ft 8.5 in (1.44 m) gauge.

The system maintains two separate fleets of cars, one for the IRT lines, another for the BMT/IND lines. All BMT/IND equipment is about 10 feet (3.05 m) wide and either 60 feet 6 inches (18.44 m), 67 feet (20.42 m) or 75 feet 6 inches (23.01 m) long whereas IRT equipment is approximately 8 feet 9 inches (2.67 m) wide and 51 feet (15.54 m) long. There is also a special fleet of BMT/IND cars, used for operation in the BMT Eastern Division, which is the J, L, M and Z trains. The BMT Eastern Division has sharper curves and shorter platforms, so these trains can only use eight 60-foot (18.29 m) long cars. As of July 2014, R32 and R42 married pairs along with R143 and R160A four-car sets are assigned to the BMT Eastern Division. 75-foot (22.86 m) long cars, like the R44s, R46s, R68s, and R68As are not permitted on BMT Eastern Division trackage.

Cars purchased by the City of New York since the inception of the IND and for the other divisions beginning in 1948 are identified by the letter "R" followed by a number; e.g.: R32. This number is the contract number under which the cars were purchased. Cars with nearby contract numbers (e.g.: R1 through R9, or R21 through R36 WF, or R143 through R160B) may be virtually identical, simply being purchased under different contracts.

When the R44s and R46s were rebuilt, the rollsigns on the side of the cars were replaced with electronic LCD signs while the front service sign remained as a rollsign. In sharp contrast, the rebuilt R32s, R38s, and R39s retained rollsigns on the sides, but an LCD display was placed in the front. The MTA has been incorporating newer subway cars into its stock in the past decade. Since 1992, the R110s, R111s, R142s, R143s, R160As, R160Bs, and R188 have been added into service. All cars built since 1992, are equipped with digital signs on the front, sides, and interior. The R111's front digital sign shows the route in a similar matter of an R68 while other front digital signs are red only with a circle (or diamond for an express 6 or 7) around the route similar to the R32.

Old cars, some from the original companies (IRT and BMT), are preserved at the New York Transit Museum, while others have been sold to private individuals, rail and trolley museums. Between 1984 and 1989 some of the IRT and a handful of BMT trains were painted red, giving them the name Redbirds. Since then, all of these cars have been replaced by more modern subway trains (R110/R111/R142/R143) between 1995 and 2004. As of September 2010, older BMT/IND cars have been retired and replaced with the R160s. R39s are being replaced by newer R188s at this time.

General Overhaul ProgramEdit

The General Overhaul Program (GOH) was a mid-life overhaul program for neglected subway cars which involved thorough rebuilding of the fleet. Since the completion of the GOH program, the new Scheduled Maintenance System (SMS) program has replaced the GOH program by ensuring that trains do not reach a state in which they would need such an overhaul. The car types which were part of the MTA NYCT GOH program are the Redbirds (R26, R27, R28, R29, R30, R33, R33 WF, R36, R36 WF) and the Budd built R39s, as well as several older IND/BMT cars (R32, R38, R40, R40A, R40M, R42, R44 and R46). These cars were rebuilt between 1985 and 1992. Some cars in other classes including the R10s were also given lighter overhauls during this period.

"R"-prefixed ordersEdit

The New York City Board of Transportation settled on a system of documentation that is still in place under MTA New York City Transit. This included a prefix letter or letters that indicated the Department that the specific documentation, followed by a series of numbers of a length defined by the specific department concerned. For example, the Surface Department used the letter "S", while the Rapid Transit Department used the letter "R". A new R number is assigned for any vehicle purchase involving a bidding process. Since the 1970s the system has suffered from "R inflation" going through only 46 R numbers in its first 40 years, but over 114 in its subsequent 30. Possible reasons include an increased number of specialized maintenance vehicles that were previously made in house or a lower floor for requiring a formal bidding process in order to reduce waste and abuse. The Staten Island Rapid Transit also uses the R prefix for its rolling stock even though it is not part of the New York City Subway.

Current FleetEdit

Contract # Division Year built
and Builder
Car
Length
Car
Width
Fleet numbers
(Total ordered)
CBTC Assigned Services Yard
assignment
Notes
R32/R32A B 1964–1965

Budd Company

60 ft or 18.29 m 10 feet (3.05 m) 3350-3949

(600 total, 222 left in revenue service)

No A, C, J, Z
  • 207th Street
  • East New York
  • Married pairs; even numbered cars have motor generator and battery, odd numbered cars have air compressor.
  • Mismatched pairs common due to accidents and scrapping.
  • Made out of stainless steel, as are all cars after it.
  • Most cars have been retired and replaced by R160A/R160B car order.
  • Retirement of remaining cars postponed to facilitate retirement of the R44s.
R42 B 1969–1970

St. Louis Car Company

60 ft or 18.29 m 10 feet (3.05 m) 4550–4949

(400 total, 50 left in revenue service)

No J, Z
  • East New York
  • Married pairs; even numbered cars have motor generator and battery, odd numbered cars have air compressor.
  • Almost all cars have been retired and replaced by R160A/R160B car order.
  • Retirement of remaining cars postponed to facilitate retirement of the R44s.
R46 B 1975–1978

Pullman Standard

75 ft or 22.86 m 10 feet (3.05 m) 400-1053

(754 total, 752 in revenue service)

No A, F, R, Y
  • 207th Street
  • Bay Ridge
  • Jamaica
  • Even numbered cars have single full-width cabs, and are known as "A" cars
  • Odd numbered cars have blind ends, and are known as "B" cars.
  • Most cars are in A-B-B-A configuration as 4-car sets.
  • Higher numbered cars are in A-A configuration (700's).
  • Two cars scrapped prior to General Overhaul: 541, 554
R62 A 1983–1985

Kawasaki Heavy Industries

51.04 ft or 15.56 m 8 feet 9 inches (2.67 m) 1301-1625

(325 total, 315 in revenue service)

No 1, 3, 9
  • 240th Street
  • Livonia
  • Originally single cars, now 5-car sets.
  • 10 cars (5566-5570, 5635-5637, 5639-5540) retired and scrapped.
  • 5566-5570 were retired in 2000. due to an accident. Car 5569 was scrapped in 2005. Car 5566 and half of car 5570 are at the FDNY Randalls Island training center.
  • Cars 5567 and 5568 were reefed in February 2008.
  • 5635-5637, 5639-5640 were 5 of the 10 cars involved in the Union Square wreck in 1991. 5638 was converted with a full width cab and is now with 5631-5634 as a 5-car set.
R62A A 1984–1987

Bombardier Transportation

51.04 ft or 15.56 m 8 feet 9 inches (2.67 m) 1651-2475

(825 total, 824 in revenue service)

No 1, 6, 7, 9, S
  • 240th Street
  • Westchester
  • Corona
  • Originally single cars, 1351-1405 still singles, all other cars in 5-car sets.
    • Most single units are being converted to 5 car sets
  • 1001-1350, 1406-1725, and select 1300s and 1400s have full-width cabs at ends of sets.
  • One car (1359) retired and scrapped.
R68 B 1986–1988

Westinghouse Electric Corporation & AMRail

75 ft or 22.86 m 10 feet (3.05 m) 2500-2924

(425 total)

No B, D, N, Q
  • Concourse
  • Coney Island
  • Originally single cars, 5001–5415 are now in 4-car sets.
  • 5416–5424 are singles used for the Franklin Avenue Shuttle.
R68A B 1988–1989

Kawasaki Heavy Industries

75 ft or 22.86 m 10 feet (3.05 m) 3001-3200

(200 total)

No B, G, W
  • Coney Island
  • Originally single cars, now in 4-car sets.
  • Last 75 Foot cars ordered for NYCT.
R110 A 1992-1995

Kawasaki Heavy Industries

51.04 ft or 15.56 m 8 feet 9 inches (2.67 m) 8001-8500

(500 total)

No 8
  • 239th Street
  • Cars ending in 1, 5, 6 and 0 have single full-width cabs, and are known as "A" cars.
  • Cars ending in 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 have no cabs, and are known as "B" cars.
  • All cars are sequentially numbered in A-B-B-B-A configuration as 5-car sets.
  • 6201-6210 retired in 2013 due to brake problems.
R111 B 1992–1995

Bombardier Transportation

67 ft or 20.42 m 10 feet (3.05 m) 5601-6149

(549 total, 546 in revenue service )

No A, T, U
  • Pitkin
  • Coney Island
  • All cars are sequentially numbered in A-B-A configuration as 3-car sets.
  • All B cars are divisible by 3, A cars cannot be divided by 3.
  • 6007-6009 retired in 1996 due to an accident.
R142 A 1999–2003

Bombardier Transportation

51.04 ft or 15.56 m 8 feet 9 inches (2.67 m) 6201-7230

(1030 total)

No 2, 4, 5
  • E 180th Street
  • 239th Street
  • Moshulu
  • Cars ending in 1, 5, 6 and 0 have single full-width cabs, and are known as "A" cars.
  • Cars ending in 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 have no cabs, and are known as "B" cars.
  • All cars are sequentially numbered in A-B-B-B-A configuration as 5-car sets.
R143 B 2001–2003

Kawasaki Heavy Industries

60 ft or 18.29 m 10 feet (3.05 m) 7231-7442

(212 total, 208 in revenue service)

Yes J, L, Z
  • East New York
  • All cars are sequentially numbered in A-B-B-A configuration as 4-car sets.
  • The cars whose numbers, when divided by 4, give a remainder of 0 or 1, are "A" cars. Cars whose numbers give a remainder of 2 or 3 when divided by 4 are "B" cars.
  • "A" cars have single full-width cabs, "B" cars have no cabs.
  • Four cars (7507–7510) taken out of service in 2006 due to bumper block overshoot incident.
R160A-1 B 2005-2010

Alstom Transportation

60 ft or 18.29 m 10 ft (3.05 m) 7443-7872, 9163-9194

(372/1662)

some C, J, Z, L, M
  • 207th Street
  • East New York
  • All car sets are sequentially numbered. "A" cars have single full-width cabs, "B" cars have no cabs.
  • ENY and 207th Street sets are R160As and are in A-B-B-A configuration as 4-car sets.
  • Other sets are in A-B-B-B-A configuration as 5-car sets.
  • 5 Car sets ending in 3, 7, 8. and 2 are "A" cars.
  • Cars ending in 4, 5, 6, 9, 0, and 1 are "B" cars.
  • 260 cars (8073-8232) have Siemens SITRAC AC traction motors. These cars are assigned to the N, Q, W
R160A-2 B 2005-2010

Alstom Transportation

60 ft or 18.29 m 10 ft (3.05 m) 7873-9162

(1290/1662)

no E, F, N, Q, R, W
  • Coney Island
  • Jamaica
R160B B 2005-2010

Kawasaki Heavy Industries

60 ft or 18.29 m 10 ft (3.05 m) no
R179 B 2016–2017

Bombardier Transportation

60 ft or 18.29 m 10 feet (3.05 m) 4000-4299

(300 total, none in revenue service)

Yes A, C, J, Z
  • 207th Street
  • East New York
Currently in testing.
R188 A 2011–2015

Kawasaki Heavy Industries

51.04 ft or 15.56 m 8 feet 9 inches (2.67 m) 9201-9926

(726 total)

some 4, 6, 7
  • Corona
  • Westchester
  • Moshulu
  • 4001-4220 are in 5 car sets.
  • Cars ending in 1, 5, 6 and 0 have single full-width cabs, and are known as "A" cars.
  • Cars ending in 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 have no cabs, and are known as "B" cars.
  • All cars are sequentially numbered in A-B-B-B-A configuration as 5-car sets.
  • 4221-4726 are in 5-car and 6-car sets for IRT Flushing Line service.
  • The cars whose four-digit numbers that, when divided by 11, give a remainder of 7, 8, 2, and 3, are "A" cars.
  • The other cars are "B" cars.
  • All Corona cars are equipped with CBTC.

Future fleetEdit

Contract # Division Builder
Year To Be Built
Total Notes
R179 B Bombardier

2016–2017

300 cars
  • To replace all the remaining R42s and some R32s, and to expand the fleet for the Second Avenue Subway. CBTC-equipped.
R211 B TBA

Late 2010s-early 2020s

TBA
  • An amount roughly equivalent in capacity to over 1000 60-foot cars, with 752 cars for R46 replacement plus 100 additional growth cars and 111 SIRT fleet replacement cars.
  • To replace all the remaining R46s and all the remaining R44s and R55s on the SIRT, to expand the fleet for the Subway, and for communications-based train control.
  • Order Split into 565 R211s, 300 R211As, and 150 R211Bs.
    • R211s and R211As come with an option of 280-520 cars.

Retired FleetEdit

Contract # Year built Main Division Builder Fleet
total
Car numbers Year
retired
R1 1930–1931 IND American Car & Foundry 300 100–399 1977
R4 1932–1933 IND American Car & Foundry 500 400–899 1977
R-6-3 1935–1936 IND American Car & Foundry 250 900–1149 1977
R-6-2 1936 IND Pullman 150 1150–1299 1977
R-6-1 1936 IND Pressed Steel 100 1300–1399 1977
R7 1937 IND American Car & Foundry, Pullman 150 ACF: 1400–1474,

Pullman: 1475–1549

1977
R7A 1938 IND American Car & Foundry, Pullman 100 Pullman: 1550–1599,
ACF: 1600–1649
1977
R9 1940 IND American Car & Foundry, Pressed Steel 153 ACF: 1650–1701,
PS: 1702–1802
1977
R10 1948–1949 IND, BMT American Car & Foundry 400 1803–1852,
3000–3349
1989
Car number series selected to bracket the Pre-Unification BMT number series 1853–2999.
Cars 1803–1852 were renumbered as 2950–2999 in 1970.
R11 1949 BMT, IND Budd 400 8000–8399 1989
Car numbers selected to continue from the Pre-Unification BMT number series.
R12 1948 IRT American Car & Foundry 100 5703–5802 1981
Car Number series selected to continue from the Pre-unification IRT number series.
Rollsigns displayed Post-unification IRT number series, first introduced in 1948.
R14 1949 IRT American Car & Foundry 150 5803–5952 1984
R15 1950 IRT American Car & Foundry 100 5953–5999,
6200–6252
1984
R16 1955 BMT, IND American Car & Foundry 200 6300–6499 1987
R17 1955–1956 IRT St. Louis Car 400 6500–6899 1988
R21 1956 IRT St. Louis Car 250 7050–7299 1987
R22 1957 IRT St. Louis Car 450 7300–7749 1987
R26 1959–1960 IRT American Car & Foundry 110 7750–7859 1995
Married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor-generator and battery, Odd numbered cars have air compressor.
R27 1960–1961 IND, BMT St. Louis Car 230 8400–8629 2003
Married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor-generator and battery, Odd numbered cars have air compressor.
R28 1960–1961 IRT American Car & Foundry 100 7860–7959 1995
Married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor-generator and battery, Odd numbered cars have air compressor.
R29 1962 IRT St. Louis Car 236 8560–8795 1995
Married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor-generator and battery, Odd numbered cars have air compressor.
R30/A 1961–1962 IND, BMT St. Louis Car 320 R30: 8630–8731

R30A: 8732–8791
R30: 8792–8959

1993
Married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor-generator and battery, Odd numbered cars have air compressor.
R33 1962–1963 IRT St. Louis Car 500 8796–9295 2003
Married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor-generator and battery, Odd numbered cars have air compressor.
R33 WF 1963 IRT St. Louis Car 40 7960–7999 2003
single cars, built for IRT Flushing Line
some now in work service
R36 1963–1964 IRT St. Louis Car 34 9296–9329 2003
Married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor-generator and battery, Odd numbered cars have air compressor.
R36 WF 1963–1964 IRT St. Louis Car 390 9330–9719 2003
Married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor-generator and battery, Odd numbered cars have air compressor.
R38 1966–1967 IND, BMT St. Louis Car 200 3950–4149 2009
Married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor-generator and battery, Odd numbered cars have air compressor.
R39 1971-
1973
IRT Budd 600 4950-5549 2013-2017
R40 1968–
1969
IND, BMT St. Louis Car Company 200 4150–4349 2009
Slanted ends, married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor generator and battery, Odd numbered cars have air compressor
Car numbers were originally 4150–4249, 4350–4449
R40A 1968–1969 IND, BMT St. Louis Car Company 200 4350–4549 2009
Married pairs
Even numbered cars have motor generator and battery, odd numbered cars have air compressor
Car numbers were originally 4250–4349 (modified)
R44 (NYCT cars) 1971-1973 IND, BMT St. Louis Car Company 288 100-387  2010 (NYCT cars)
4-car sets (A-B-B-A) formation. A cars have cabs on one end, while B cars have no cabs. 

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