The R143 is a standard gauge New York City Subway B Division new technology (NTT) car built by Kawasaki in 2001-2003. The New York City Transit Authority owns 216 R143 cars, numbered #8101-8316, and built for an average cost of about $1.5 million per car.

Description Edit

The contract for the R143 was put out for bidding in January 1998. The initial contract called for 100 sixty-foot cars that would come in five-car sets. The new cars would be expected to have automatic PA announcements, high efficiency lighting, emergency intercom and customer alarms, AC propulsion motors, speedometers and event recorders, electronic information display signs, artwork, a central diagnostics monitoring system, microprocessor controlled air compressor, brake and communication systems, roof mounted microprocessor controlled HVAC, and to be compliant with ADA requirements.

Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. was awarded a $190 million contract for 100 new B Division cars in late December 1998, with an option for 108 more cars. The new design was based on the A Division's R142A, which Kawasaki also built. Delivery began in late 2001, and a 30-day test with one train of eight cars (8101-8108) began on December 4, 2001. According to Kawasaki, the test was "extremely successful".

R143s began running on the BMT Canarsie Line (L train) on February 12, 2002, where they have been assigned to since, and all 216 cars were delivered by March 2003. In addition to running on the L, where the R143s displaced the R40s and R42s, also displaced the R42s on the M weekend shuttle service on the BMT Myrtle Avenue Line when that line became the first Eastern Division line to be placed in weekend OPTO service. The R143s there were then displaced by R160As in February 2008. OPTO was also tested on the L during mid-2005.

The 216 cars delivered were expected to provide enough service for years, but the fast growth of the Williamsburg neighborhood overloaded the L by mid-2006.

The R143 cars are based at the East New York shop facility near the Broadway Junction station in Brooklyn. The R143s are almost identical to the R160s, however the two car types can not be interchanged with each other.

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