Home Rolling Stock Report: Flushing line to poach East Side IRT rolling stock, eventually

Report: Flushing line to poach East Side IRT rolling stock, eventually

by Benjamin Kabak

The always-vigilant Dana Rubinstein has an interesting bit for the rolling stock fans among us who wish to plan ahead: When CBTC is finally ready for implementation along the Flushing Line, the 7 will be trading rolling stock with the East Side IRT. The deets:

By 2016, the year that the M.T.A. hopes to complete installation of a modern signaling system along the 7 line, the M.T.A. will have swapped out the line’s cars for newer ones from the Lexington Avenue line, Capital has learned.

Some Lexington Avenue riders, meanwhile, will get stuck with the old 7 train cars. (The newest 7 cars have been in use for about 25 years.) The M.T.A. has yet to determine which of the three Lexington Avenue lines—the 4, 5, or 6—will be affected.

“Sometime prior to when it is turned on in 2016, you will start seeing the cars on the 7 move to the Lex and the cars on the Lex move to the 7,” confirmed Adam Lisberg, a spokesman for the M.T.A.

Essentially, the R62As, which date from the mid-to-late 1980s, aren’t equipped for CBTC while the R142s are. So the MTA will swap rolling stock — and hopefully update the static FIND signs in the R142s — when the time is ripe. That time, of course, isn’t for another four years so I don’t think East Side riders should be holding their breaths. Meanwhile, for East Siders looking for a silver lining, I prefer the air conditioning on the R62As to that on the R142s, and the Second Ave. Subway might be nearing its revenue date by then as well.

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Alex C September 5, 2012 - 4:10 pm

This has been known for some time. My concern is how the MTA will eventually completely punt the upgrades to the R142s in terms of propulsion and fixing the bucking problem.

Al September 5, 2012 - 4:15 pm

It’ll be whichever line has R142As, since those cars are apart of the overall CBTC conversion program. What I’m curious about is if it’ll actually be 2016, and if the 7 will run into the same problem the L did once its CBTC program was done.

Alex C September 5, 2012 - 11:49 pm

Thales will be doing the CBTC equipment for the Flushing line. They have done some good work in the field and are using off-the-shelf components instead of the run-around the MTA got from Siemens on the Canarsie line (which will have to be re-signalled…).

John-2 September 5, 2012 - 4:22 pm

Seems like it’s been a given for a while that Westchester Yard will be the one getting the R-62s, while the 6 train’s R-142A rolling stock heads for Corona. The only thing we’re moving closer and closer towards is the moment when the 6 train’s riders find out en mass they’re losing their NTT and all they’re getting in return is a red for the Pelham Express and a green (6) for the Lex-Pelham local.

You would think the MTA is making contingency plans already for the moment they start taking flack from East side local riders because their digital signs and recorded announcements have gone away, but odds are they’ll probably be caught by surprise anyway.

R. Graham September 5, 2012 - 4:52 pm

You’re absolutely correct. The number of cars available in Flushing and Westchester match up quite well too.

Matthias September 7, 2012 - 11:11 am

That would be great if we no longer have to suffer whiplash on the 6 train. A real green 6 bullet would be an added bonus!

Brian September 5, 2012 - 4:36 pm

NYCTF has been discussing this for years, general consensus is that it’ll be 4 or the 6 and not the 5, due to the 5 sharing terminals with the 2 at Flatbush (and at times, E 180 St). Changing rollsigns at those stops would create a hassle and delays, since those trains run at tight intervals, while with the R142/R142A’s, you just change the programming.


R. Graham September 5, 2012 - 4:56 pm

Won’t really matter too much. We’re about 10 years away from the replacements for the 62s to begin testing and yes I said 10 even though the cars will only be 35 years old. By the time 10 years comes around the MTA is going to be looking at any and every way to begin moving CBTC to the IRT north/south Manhattan lines. With a solid RCC already in place and countdown clocks that work with existing technology it’s only logic that they will want to roll it out so they can roll back on staffing and the expenses that comes with current staffing levels.

al September 6, 2012 - 12:20 am

They’ll last a bit longer than that on South Ferry Line. 2023-2025 is 40 yrs for R62. 2025-2027 is 40 yrs for R62A. The MTA has been taking better care of the fleet and the stainless steel fleet might last even longer than R32 with rebuilds. This of course is if the MTA rolls out CBTC on Lexington Ave lines first and leave South Ferry for the last A Division upgrade. The 2,3 suffer from overcrowding on the Upper West Side and we all know the conditions on the 4,5,6.

Larry Littlefield September 6, 2012 - 7:45 am

The MTA may not have the money for new cars by then, and may have to do a rebuild. When the refinanced the debt used to buy the R62s, they claimed a 50 year life for the cars. Basically, any cars ought to last at least as long as the BMT Standards.

al September 6, 2012 - 1:22 pm

They need to consider rebuilding the R62A into 5 car semi-permanent sets. Remove corner cabs and keep full width cabs for Conductor and Motorman positions. That would increase capacity a bit.

Andrew September 10, 2012 - 7:10 pm

CBTC isn’t some sort of magical capacity-enhancing pixie dust. It’s a new signal system, and the age and condition of the current signal system is probably the primary concern in determining where CBTC will go when.

So I’d expect CBTC to go to much of the IND before the IRT is touched.

Kevin September 5, 2012 - 5:02 pm

It is the (4) and (6)’s equipments that are going on the (7) Line, not the (5) because the (5) uses Bombardier R-142’s with the (2), the Kawasaki R-142A’s are being converted to be compatible with CBTC and thus being also renamed to R-188’s (or you can call them R-142AM if you prefer).

SEAN September 5, 2012 - 5:31 pm

What about the R179’s or what ever they are.

R. Graham September 5, 2012 - 5:34 pm

Those are the new 75 feet cars coming to replace the 44s.

Larry Littlefield September 6, 2012 - 4:07 pm

They aren’t buying new 75-foot cars, are they?

Standardize, damn it! Does there have to be a separate door position with every order, to make platform doors in crowded stations impossible?

LLQBTT September 7, 2012 - 9:37 am

That will ensure that it would be at least another 80 or so years at the earliest before any (B Division except ENY) would be enclosed.

Donald September 8, 2012 - 10:49 pm

They are not buying anymore 75 foot long cars. Everything form now on will be 60 feet so that this way there are 8 additonal door panels per train, reducing the time it takes for passengers to board and exit the train.

Andrew September 10, 2012 - 7:11 pm

Nice to see that you have a crystal ball.

(75-foot cars can have five doors if dwell times are a concern.)

Someone September 23, 2012 - 7:34 pm

Yes but that would add up to a huge window influx, wouldn’t it?

R. Graham September 5, 2012 - 5:35 pm

Actually the 46s. I keep saying 44s but they are dead already.

Nathaniel September 5, 2012 - 7:21 pm

Actually, I think they’re meant to replace the even OLDER R32’s and R42’s. The projected replacement of the R46’s is 2019 with the production of the R211.

Henry Man September 5, 2012 - 6:44 pm

Different division. R179 is Division B (IND/BMT), while the R142A/R188 is for Division A (former IRT).

SEAN September 5, 2012 - 7:24 pm

Thanks for the info. Now aren’t the R62A’s used on the Grand Central-Times Square shuttle as well?

Nathaniel September 5, 2012 - 7:19 pm

I’m hoping they give the R62/R62A’s the proposed “midlife technological upgrade” before said trade happens.

Frank B. September 5, 2012 - 8:48 pm

Now here’s a good question… How the hell are they going to get the R62’s from the IRT Flushing Line to the IRT Lexington Avenue Line?

There’s only one track connection between the IRT Flushing Avenue Line with the rest of the system, and that’s the BMT Astoria Line at Queensboro Plaza.

From there, the R62’s would have to run all the way down the BMT Broadway line, through the Montague Street Tunnel into Brooklyn, and then back up through the Montague Street Tunnel in the opposite direction up the BMT Nassau Street line, through lower Manhattan, and over the Williamsburg Bridge to the BMT Broadway Line, then switch to the BMT Canarsie Line at Broadway Junction, continuing along to the Linden Shops, and then finally doubling back to the IRT New Lots Line to connect with the rest of the IRT System.

That’s the only way I can see them doing it; save for trucking 824 subway cars over the Whitestone, then another load back again, (A tall, expensive order) that’s the most direct way to bring subway cars from the Flushing Line to the rest of the IRT I can see; they could probably move 5 train sets a night late on weeknights for a few weeks. Of course, a temporary third rail would have to be installed at the wyes to the Livonia Yards between the BMT Canarsie and IRT New Lots Line; or otherwise be pushed for a short distance by a diesel locomotive.

Is there any more direct way to move over 800 trains from Queens, plus all the trains coming from the Bronx in the opposite direction?


Roxie September 5, 2012 - 10:04 pm

They’ve been moving train sets for a while now, apparently. They could also possibly be moving the trains down the Broadway line into Brooklyn, then up the 6th Ave. line and into the Concourse yard (there’s a connection between the Jerome line and the Concourse line there).

al September 6, 2012 - 12:03 am

R142 to Flushing> Pelham (6) to Jerome (4) to Grand Concourse (D) to:
1) Sea Beach (N) in Brooklyn to Queensboro Plaza and over to Flushing Line (7).
2) turn back north on 6th (M) or 8th Ave (E) to Queens Plaza and then reverse onto Broadway Local (R) to 57th St or 60th St/Lex Ave and reverse back to Astoria Line (N, Q).

The additional car to make 11 car sets have to come in via truck from the Kawasaki Yonkers plant. That might enter the system at Coney Island or 207 St Yards. Off chance it will enter via South Brooklyn RR and 36th st yard.

nycpat September 6, 2012 - 6:20 pm

That work is done at 207.

al September 8, 2012 - 10:38 am

Conversion work on the option order is done at 207st yard. The new cars, as was the first 10 car conversion on the base order, are from Yonkers.

Frank B. September 6, 2012 - 1:10 pm

That’s a far more direct way; to be 100% honest, I wasn’t even aware there was a track connection between the IND and IRT in the Concourse and Jerome yards.

Evan September 5, 2012 - 10:50 pm

On your point, I personally think they should have kept the Second Ave El and not bothered with the subway. Because:

1. It provided a direct connection between the Flushing Line and the rest of the IRT system, as it should be.
2. If they wanted to, they could have strengthened the Second Ave El (and after the merge in Upper Manhattan, the Third Ave El up to Gun Hill Rd) so that subway cars could easily move around.

Right now, the Flushing Line and the rest of the IRT system are in the same division – but operationally, it’s like they’re in two different universes.

If it really was necessary to tear the el down for the sake of quality of life (and admittedly, the els can be an annoyance with its noise and lack of sunlight), then the engineers should have made a provision that the Flushing Line could someway have a connection with the rest of the IRT system, if that’s possible.

Bolwerk September 6, 2012 - 11:49 am

I was thinking the other day how cool it would be if the 7 fed into the downtown portion of the SAS. However, without making it four tracks, there are obviously logistical problemsimpossibilities with the Q planned to use it.

Frank B. September 6, 2012 - 1:15 pm

I think they are going to build a connection to the IND Queens Boulevard Line during Phase 3. That would be awesome. They’ll probably knock out the M train and establish a new service to serve Queens and Second Avenue; the M would likely then have to terminate in Manhattan.

Bolwerk September 6, 2012 - 3:19 pm

I never heard that, but if they did that, they almost may as well use the M. Presumably the Christie Street Connection, currently used by the M, could be tied in rather trivially.

Frank B. September 6, 2012 - 11:18 pm

Yeah, there actually isn’t a plan at the moment to use it in regular operation, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t. Unlike the Bronx and Brooklyn which will have to wait decades for direct 2nd Avenue Service, at least Queens can give the east side a little love.

Actually, from what I’ve read, and this amazes me, they won’t be tying in the existing Chrystie Street Connection to the IND Second Avenue Line, which seems crazy to me. They first built the Chrystie Street Connection for the Second Avenue Line. Now years later they’re not even going to bother to connect it? Craziness.

Bolwerk September 7, 2012 - 12:06 am

It doesn’t seem like a bad idea, actually. The M could perhaps be less disruptive to the T than the Q will be, and clearly the T will be constrained south of ~63rd by the need for some space to run Qs.

Bolwerk September 7, 2012 - 12:06 am

Also, the phase where they’re by Christie Street with the SAS is so far away that probably anything can happen.

Frank B. September 7, 2012 - 12:12 am

Ah, I see, you’re saying just send the M up the IND 2nd Avenue Line to 96th/125th, via the IND 63rd Street Line; then send a new service (say the P train) down the 2nd Avenue Line to Houston Street/Chatham Square.

Not a bad idea. Not a bad idea at all!

Bolwerk September 7, 2012 - 2:38 pm

Actually, not the P part. Well, not necessarily anyway.

It’s just that there can only be so much service south of ~63rd on the SAS because the Q will operate between the northern terminal and 63rd. I don’t know if there will even be much demand for service south of Houston, but the M is an obvious choice to supplement the T north of Houston and south of 63rd.

Phantom September 6, 2012 - 9:18 pm

The Second Ave El should at least have stayed up until the day an East Sids subway opened.

pea-jay September 5, 2012 - 10:52 pm

I saw a 7 train on the center yard tracks of the 200/Dyckman A stop up here in Inwood. It was a little disconcerting to see the 7 up here but the 207 yard does tie into both the IND and IRT west side lines. I’ve occasionally seen an R62 with the red diamond / green circle run as a 1 train as well.

Bill Reese September 5, 2012 - 11:57 pm

Flushing to Queensboro plaza. Switch to the BMT tracks. Follow the BMT tracks over the Manhattan to Dekalb. Switch to the 6 Avenue line tracks. Go back over the bridge. Switch from the B/D tracks to the 8th Avenue A/C tracks at West 4. Take the IND all the way up to the 207 Street Yard. Switch to the IRT. Take the 2/3 line to Atlantic. Switch to the 4/5. Sounds like a hassle, but I think that’s correct?

What say you track map aficionados?

Frank B. September 6, 2012 - 1:09 pm

Does a track connection exist between the IND 8th Avenue Line and the IRT Broadway Line at the 207th Street Yards?

From what I’m seeing on the track map, they share a yard but there is no physical track connection between the two.

nycpat September 6, 2012 - 6:18 pm

There does. The connection is the yard. Just like Concourse.

Someone September 23, 2012 - 7:41 pm

Does a track connection exist at Concourse Yard? I saw that they share a yard but no connection is shown on the track map.

BenW September 10, 2012 - 4:40 pm

I believe there’s still a track connection between the 1 and the 4/5 at South Ferry, in which case that would probably be simpler than going all the way to Atlantic to turn around. As to the rest, I have no idea, though it seems from the comment below like you could, once headed uptown on the 6th Avenue line, take the slightly simpler route of just proceeding up it to Concourse Yard to get to the 4 that way.

Donald September 8, 2012 - 10:46 pm

It’s been known now for well over a year the the 7 and 6 are going to be swapping train cars. This is not new news. The 4 and 5 trains will be keeping their current fleet since they mainly use 142s and not 142As.

Andrew September 10, 2012 - 7:15 pm

You mean the way the R-160’s are running on the exact same lines that the cars they replaced used to run? Strange, I don’t see any R-160’s on the A or B or C.

Someone September 23, 2012 - 7:32 pm

Wouldn’t there be an unequal amount of cars going on the IRT East Side Line, since the 4/5/6 uses 10-car trains and the 7 uses 11-car trains? Wouldn’t there be 38 leftover R62A cars going around? Where would these go? Or what of the remaining 60 or so R142A’s on the 6, God forbid?

Gerald Rivera July 3, 2013 - 11:19 pm

Is the MTA still going to sent the R62As on the 3 / 5 and 6 line They have to send these on the 3/and the 6 line the 4 line need some R62s back on the 4 line the 7 line have too many cars and the reason I make a comment on the Internet is because I saw the R62a approaching to the parkchester from coming from school and I remember those R62As on the 6 line before the R142/142As arrived .I was a little boy I rode on the R62a to grand central, union square and parkchester station but no fence but the 6 line need the R62A .I have no problem riding on the R160s to 53 street it just that the R142A is okay . If the R142a will run on the 6 line then what is the Lextington Avenue line will be like the 7 has 11 train cars and they have to save The remaining car on the 6 line until the R188 and R142a will go on the 7 line.

Gerald Rivera July 3, 2013 - 11:43 pm

Why they using R32 and R42 on the j and the z line but what if these break down or going in a out of service they have to get replace it and I hope the R46 R62/62A R68/68A won’t Breakdown just incase for God Sade if these will breakdown or fail would the MTA probably replace it?


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