Slideshow of the Day: The end of reefing


For the past decade, the MTA has disposed of old subway cars through a reefing program. In fact, more than 2500 cars, stripped of their valuable and toxic parts, have been dropped to the ocean floor to create a home for ocean life and a destination for water tourists. (Check out a video on reefing here.) In a slideshow for The Times over the weekend, though, Michael Grynbaum reported on the end of the reefing program.

According to Grynbaum’s MTA sources, the newer cars aren’t fit for reefing. “After 10 years,” he writes, “the authority determined that its newer subway cars would not be suitable for this fate; those trains have more plastic parts than their predecessors, making them more expensive to prepare for reefing. The era of the underwater subway graveyard officially came to an end.” The authority will try to find a “more efficient manner of disposal.” The reefs then will stay as they are, and the photos of cars being sunk will remain as dramatic as they ever were.


Categories : Asides, Rolling Stock

6 Responses to “Slideshow of the Day: The end of reefing”

  1. Lawrence Velázquez says:

    So they aren’t dropping the remaining R-32s, when it’s their turn?

    • Alex C says:

      They’re probably referring to the R68 and newer models. There isn’t a lot of R-32 and R42 cars left, so they’ll probably still reef those.

  2. Really wonderful pictures and video! I’m sad to hear this is coming to an end. I shake my fist at you, plastic.

  3. Peter says:

    Jeez, with commodity prices rising – especially stainless steel – I would expect that the scrap value of all-stainless cars would be high enough that NYCT could scrap them more profitably than stripping & decontaminating them. and THEN giving them to the fish…

  4. Alon Levy says:

    I don’t understand from the story what batch of trains will be the last to be reefed. Are they saying no more reefing, period, or no more reefing after the older trains still in use are retired?

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