Transit accepts final R160 units

By · Published in 2010

The era of the new R160s is officially over as New York City Transit announced that they have received the final units of the 1662-car order. The new cars are in use on the E, F, N and Q lines, and the technology behind the R160s — including the underutilized FIND signs — should keep this series of rolling stock on the rails for the next four decades.

Transit officials have spoken glowingly of the new cars as they now average approximately 370,000 miles between mechanical failures. “A lot of work went into the development of the R160 fleet and these cars have allowed us to retire hundreds of subway cars that first entered service in the mid to late 1960s, Carmen Bianco, senior vice president of the Department of Subways, said. “These cars are state-of-the-art, and designed to provide customers with far more information and comfort than older models and they are designed to last at least through mid century.”

The R160 order wraps up the MTA’s rolling stock expenditures under the 2005-2009 capital plan, and the next order — the so-called R179s — will come under the next five-year plan. Current plans for the R179s include a 290-car order for 60-footers that will replace the remaining R32 and R42 sets. The R188 order for the 7 line will start arriving in 2012, and the R211s are slated to arrive in 2015 to replace the R46s.

Categories : Asides, Rolling Stock

29 Responses to “Transit accepts final R160 units”

  1. SEAN says:

    Wich fleet sets run on the 1, 3, 7, A,B,C, D & G lines tipicly. I ask because even some cars received as late as the early 1990s look ready to be scrapped.

    • Alon Levy says:

      The 1, 3, and 7 run R62s and R62As. They look pretty good to me – not as nice as the R142s, but still not obsolete like the R42s.

      • From what I’ve heard, the R62 series won’t up for replacement until the early 2020s with delivery by mid-decade. Those still have life left to them.

        • Scott E says:

          I thought the R188s would replace the R62As on the 7 line. (I don’t know where those R62As would go, though. They’re still in pretty good shape!)

          • Brian says:

            The R188’s are going to be add-on cars for the IRT Division. The two factors why the TA is ordering them is for the 7 Extension (the amount of cars the TA has will be insufficient) and to add service to the West Side IRT. As for the 62A’s on the 7, they could wind up either on the 4 or 6.

            • Andrew says:

              Actually, the main reason for a new contract is that the 7 runs 11-car trains but the R142’s are in 5-car links. Also, the 7 is getting CBTC, and the cars have to be made compatible.

  2. Jake S says:

    Ben, any chance that we’ll see R160’s on the A and C routes?

    • Brian says:

      The A and the C will likely be the last lines to get NTT-based equipment. The one factor that is holding them back from doing so is many T/O’s on both lines are not qualified to operate a R160.

      • Andrew says:

        Crews are trained as necessary.

        The actual reason is that NYCT tries to minimize the number of different car types at each maintenance location. There’s no reason to scatter the R160’s all over when they can be placed only at Coney Island, Jamaica, and East New York.

  3. Kid Twist says:

    Why do you refer to the FIND signs as “underutilized?”

    • A.M says:

      they only show a loop of MTA PSAs and ads for the train’s features- in addition to the electronic route sign.

    • I wasn’t around to respond to this earlier tonight, but in a nutshell, the answer is as A.M. put it. What has the TA done with the FIND displays? The house ads they’re running promote the technology as though it were still new as of yesterday. They don’t use them for live announcements, and they haven’t bothered to try to sell video advertising. The moving route maps are great, but the video displays, meh.

      • Brian says:

        The FIND’s would be better used if they were just like the screens seen on the PATH PA-5’s. In the long run, the TA could generate more revenue.

      • Andrew says:

        The FIND system itself – showing the stops on the line – is used all the time.

        The primary function of the display on the left is to show the route letter. Watch closely and you’ll see that, as the train approaches each stop, it cuts off whatever it was doing and brings up the route letter again. What advertiser would pay for an ad that’s cut off at the next stop?

      • Kai B says:

        Route maps could be better during diversions, weekend work, etc – many times conductors just prefer to do everything manual instead deleting stops or finding the alternate route in I assume some sort of list on their display. I guess this is mostly the fault of the conductors though – some are pretty good at it.

        When the system freezes there should be some way for them to just shut it down – Nothing confuses someone getting on an E train more than it saying F and next stop “Kings Highway”.

  4. Are the R211’s going to be 75 feet long like the 44/46’s? Also, do you think they will have the forward/backward facing seats?

    Honestly, that is my favorite place to sit on a subway car, facing forward sitting at the window.

    • SEAN says:

      I don’t kno. If I was a betting man I would think no do to ADA requirements.

    • Brian says:

      Any future B-Division car orders will be 60-ft. The TA has vowed never to order anymore 75-foot cars. To be honest, its way to soon to begin talking about the retirements of the 46’s. They can run them for another 10-12 years.

      • Andrew says:

        Nonsense. The TA doesn’t engage in vows. And what do you know about the mechanical and structural condition of the R46’s?

        • Brian says:

          For sarters, I do know people who deal with the R46’s on a daily basis. The frames on the 46’s are solid enough to withstand 45-50 years of service. At the present, the R46’s can run for another decade based on their performance and their ability to provide the needs of daily passengers.

    • Marc Shepherd says:

      That’s right: current plans are never to order 75-foot cars again.

      For one thing, the 75-foot cars are more limited, since they cannot operate on the L, J, M, or Z lines. For another, they are more slow to load and unload, since they have fewer doors.

      • Andrew says:

        60-foot cars can’t run on the L, J, M, or Z if they’re arranged as 5-car links.

        And 75-foot cars can have 5 doors.

        The advantage to 75-foot cars, from what I understand, is that they’re substantially cheaper. (Which is a big deal in this day and age.)

        • Brian says:

          The TA loses flexibility with 75-foot cars. Their construction is why they were rarely seen on the E line. You can unload a train quicker with a 60-footer (40 doors) vs. a 75-footer (32 doors). The TA realized that after the R58/A order in the 1980’s. I do recall reading an article in which they quoted Gene Sansone (the former head of New Car Engineering) which sated the TA is looking to exclusively ordering 60-foot cars for the B Division.

          • Andrew says:

            You didn’t read what I wrote, apparently.

            5-car R160’s are just as inflexible as 75-foot cars. And you didn’t bother to address my comment about 75-foot cars with five doors.

            There’s no question that at one point the plan was to only buy 60-foot cars in the future, but Gene Sansone has retired and senior management has changed many times since the 1980’s.

    • bob says:

      While I’ve heard similar things, such vows are only good for as long as the person making it is still in power. In recent years the TA has not been lacking for high level turnover.

      In the May Capital Program Committee report it says they are doing a study of 60 vs. 75 foot cars before the R-211. See
      on page 20 of the pdf, marked as page 3-11 in the document.

  5. Jason B says:

    The J/Z and M have R160s as well, no?

  6. Andrew says:

    I don’t know why this only just recently appeared on the MTA web site, but this isn’t news. The last of the cars arrived in May and were in service less than a month later.


  1. […] few weeks ago, Transit announced that it had accepted the delivery of the final R160 units. With that order of cars, the next push to upgrade the rolling stock would involve the R179s, and […]

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