The R38 was a New York City Subway car class built in 1966-1967 for the New York City Transit Authority to run on routes previously operated by the IND and BMT. A total of 200 R38 cars were ordered, since extra cars were required for the new IND Chrystie Street Subway Line which opened on November 27, 1967.
The cars were arranged in what are known as "married pairs" of two cars semi-permanently coupled together by a linkbar. Like the R32s before them, the R38s had body siding made of stainless steel.
The first two trains of R38s were placed in service after a brief introductory ceremony attended by Mayor John V. Lindsay, NYCTA Chairman Joseph O'Grady, and NYCTA Commissioners Joseph Gilhooly and Daniel T Scanell on August 23, 1966.
The R38s were similar to the R32s, but had several differences, including a New York City Transit Authority seal on the cab ends, being half-fluted (up to the side windows) instead of fully fluted, and different interior design and slightly larger number plates. Only the roofs on the R38s are made of carbon steel, whereas the rest of their car bodies are made of pure stainless steel.
Retirement, scrapping, and preservation Edit
The R160 order has replaced the entire fleet of R38s. The last train (3950-53 and 4146-49) made its final trip on the C in June 27, 2008. Cars 3950-51 have since been preserved, repainted, and set aside for the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn and are operated on certain excursions sponsored by the New York City Transit Museum. The pair is currently being stored at Pitkin Avenue Yard in Brooklyn along with other museum cars. The rest of the R38s have all been reefed.
In popular culture Edit
The scene on a subway train in Coming to America was shot on an R38. Also, the opening scene of the movie Saturday Night Fever shows a train of R38s on the B. Both scenes show the R38 before it was refurbished.
Also, the trains on the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, which are based on both the R38s and R32s, are heavily vandalized.