The R142 is a class of 1,030 new technology (NTT) New York City Subway cars built by Bombardier Transportation for the A Division. The R142 is the first model class of the newest generation of IRT cars for the subway system. Bombardier built these cars in La Pocatiere, Quebec and Barre, Vermont with final assembly performed at Plattsburgh, New York, from 1999 to 2003. There are 910 cars numbered #6301–7210, with another 150 cars numbered #1101–1210, for a total of 1,030 cars. Along with the R142As, they replaced all of the existing 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 1,030 cars from Bombardier (the R142s) and 600 cars from Kawasaki (the R142As). The original purchase order was for 815 cars, but because of the intense competition between the firms, the MTA was able to purchase 815 additional cars at the same price. The entire cost of the purchase was $2.50 billion. The historic deal came after round-the-clock negotiations and the contract was the largest subway car purchase in the history of the New York City Subway up to this point.
The first 10 R142s numbered #6301–6310 were delivered on November 16, 1999. Regular service began on the 2 on July 10, 2000, after several months of testing and troubleshooting of all bugs. 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.
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.
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 5-car, A-B-B-B-A sets, but also can be linked in sets of 4 cars (A-B-B-A), 6 cars (A-B-B-B-B-A), 9 cars (one 5-car set and one 4-car set), or 11 cars (one 5-car set and one 6-car set).
The R142/A cars have 54-inch side doors, 4 inches wider than the doors on the R62/As, which were 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.
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 the Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line 1, 2 and 3 services.
- Jessica Ettinger-Gottesman: announcements on the Lexington Avenue Line 4, 5 and 6 services.
- Annie Bergan: announcements on the Flushing Line 7 service.
- 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.