The R46 is a model of New York City Subway cars built between 1975 and 1978, by Pullman Standard in Chicago, Illinois for use on the B Division (IND/BMT). They, along with the previous R44s, are 75 feet (22.86 m) long. The cars are numbered 5482–6258.

The cars maintained at the Pitkin Avenue shop facility in Brooklyn run on the A, C, and Rockaway Park Shuttle; the cars maintained at the Jamaica shop facility in Queens run on the R, in addition to the few restricted to rush hour-only use on the F, with just one round trip each right before being removed from service and sent back to be stored at the yard or to the shop for maintenance.

Background Edit

The R46 order consisted of 752 single cars that were numbered from 5482 to 6258. Even cars with cabs are A cars; odd cars without cabs are B cars. The first two trains of R46s were placed in service on the F and N on July 14, 1975, with a brief ceremony at the 34th Street – Herald Square station, attended by Mayor Abraham D. Beame and MTA Chairman David Yunich. It is infamous for having had frequent problems in the first decade of service. Like the NYCS R44s, the R46s also feature electronic LCD signs, but like the SIR R44s, their car bodies are made of fully sliver stainless steel.

History Edit

Delivery and fleet problemsEdit

The earliest of issues with the R46 dated back to the time they were delivered, as a portion of the 752 car order was far behind schedule because there was a strike at the builder, Pullman Standard. Because of the strike and other problems, the final R46s entered service in December 1978, which was three years behind schedule.

Cracks and leaksEdit

In March 1977, there was a crack found in the frame of one of the lightweight Rockwell trucks, which resulted in a motor breaking loose from the trucks transom arms, striking an axle. By 1978, cracks were found in 264 R46 trucks. Because of these problems, all R46s had to be checked three times per week for truck cracks. In February 1978, 889 cracks were found in 547 of the trucks. The cracking was such a bad problem, that on June 14, 1979, New York City Mayor Koch ordered R46s with trucks that had 2 or more cracks out of service. Then, more that 1,200 cracks had been found by that day and they were classified into seven types. There was an account that called the R46s "the most troubled cars ever purchased". By this time, the number of cracks had almost doubled, from 889 cracks found in February 1979 to 1,700 in March 1980. In order to keep track of the R46s' structural issues, they were inspected several times a week. In September 1980, two types of cracks that were not seen before were found on the trucks. As a result, the NYCTA tried to minimize usage of the R46 fleet, until their trucks were replaced with new R44 type standard trucks ordered from General Steel and Buckeye Industries.

Brake flaws and other flawsEdit

In July 1979, Pullman Standard informed the MTA that the hand brake assemblies for the R46 were problematic. In late July 1979, inspections revealed that the steel where the car body was joined to the truck was wearing away, a severe safety issue.

At the end of 1979, there were many other flaws found in the R46 fleet and the Transit Authority filed another US$80 million charge against Pullman Standard and a number of other subcontractors. This lawsuit invalidated an agreement made with Pullman by executive director John G. DeRoos for US$1.5 million in spare parts to remedy the defects.

Recent workEdit

The R46s have been undergoing numerous SMS (Scheduled Maintenance System) cycles. The MTA estimates the cars to remain in service until about 2022, when they will be replaced by the R211s.

See also Edit

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