The R142 is the first model class of the newest generation or new technology (NTT) IRT cars for the New York City Subway. It was built by Bombardier in La Pocatiere, Quebec and Barre, Vermont with final assembly performed at Plattsburgh, New York, from 1999 to 2003. Along with the R142As, they replaced the Redbird trains, including the R26, R28, R29, R33, R33 WF, R36, and R36 WF.
On April 30, 1997, the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved the purchase of 680 cars from Bombardier (the R142s) and 450 cars from Kawasaki (the R142As). The original purchase order was for 1,130 cars, but because of the intense competition between the firms, the MTA was able to purchase up to around 370 to 380 cars at the same price. The entire cost of the purchase was $1.95 billion.
The 1,030 R142 cars have Alstom ONIX AC propulsion, electronic braking, automatic climate control, electronic strip maps and an on-board intercom system. The R142 and the R142A was partly designed by Antenna Design.
The first 10 R142s numbered 6301–6310 were delivered in November 1999. Regular service began on the 2 in July 10, 2000, after several months of testing. The R142s and R142As replaced all of the Redbirds—the R26, R28, R29, R33, R33 WF, R36 and R36 WF IRT cars by late 2003. There are 910 R142 cars numbered #6301–7210, with another 110 R142 cars numbered #1101–1210, for a total of 1,030 cars in the R142 fleet.
There are two types of cars: "A" (cab at one end) and "B" (no cabs). "A" cars are powered with four traction motors each, with the passenger doors opposite each other. The "B" cars are powered by two traction motors at the number-two end, and the passenger doors are staggered (car ends are numbered on the lower body just above the truck). The trains are linked up in A-B-B-B-A sets, but also can be linked in sets of 4, 6, 9, or 11 cars.
The R142/A cars have 54-inch side doors, about 9 inches narrower, and 4 inches wider than the doors on the R62/As, which are 50 inches. All car ends have windows, allowing passengers to see through to the next car, except unit ends, where the cab walls prevent such visibility. R142 car bodies are stainless steel.
Most of the cars make up the entire 2 and 5 train fleet, to which they are both based out of the 239th Street and East 180th Street shop facilities together. The last few cars make up the majority of the 4 train fleet, to which it is based out of the Jerome Avenue shop facility.
Recorded announcements Edit
The R142 and R142As were the first fleets to feature recorded announcements. All future NTTs will also have this feature.
The recorded announcements are by:
- Diane Thompson: announcements on Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line 1, 2 and 3 services.
- Jessica Ettinger-Gottesman: announcements on Lexington Avenue Line 4, 5 and 6 services.
- Annie Bergan: announcements on Flushing Line 7 and 42nd Street S services.
- Charlie Pellett: "Stand clear of the closing doors, please" and various public announcements, such as safety announcements, and announcements about a delay.
These people were news anchors with Bloomberg Radio at the time the announcements were recorded. Since then, Ettinger-Gottesman and Pellett are now at 1010 WINS-AM and Sirius Satellite Radio working with Howard Stern and his Howard 100 news team.