New Technology Trains - A Division

From nycsubway.org

R-142A "New Tecnology" train lead by #7596 on the #6 line at Westchester Square. Photo by Wilfredo Castillo, February 2012.



In 1997, an order was placed for 1,080 new cars for the IRT ("A") division, to be known as contracts R-142 and R-142A. The contracts were let to Bombardier, to build the R-142 contract of 680 cars, and to Kawasaki Heavy Industries, to build the R-142A contract of 400 cars. Delivery of the new cars began in December, 1999, with extensive non-revenue testing occurring on the center tracks of the Dyre Avenue line in the Bronx. The East 180th Street maintenance shops were overhauled in preparation to maintain the new fleet of trains.

The R-142A Kawasaki cars were delivered by flatbed truck to the 239th Street Yard in the Bronx, where they were loaded onto the tracks and towed by diesel locomotive to East 180th St. Shop. The Bombardier R-142 cars were delivered by train from their facility in Plattsburgh, New York, via Oak Point Yard in the Bronx. They are towed over the Hell Gate Bridge and onto the Bay Ridge branch of the LIRR, where there is a connection to the IRT Livonia Avenue line in Linden Yard. Service into Livonia Yard is provided by the New York & Atlantic Railway, and from there, the cars are towed by NYCTA diesel locomotives to East 180th Street Yard.

The 1,080 cars of the primary order will replace most, but not all, of the trains known as "redbirds" (car classes R26, R28, R29, R33, R36), some of which date back to 1958 and should perhaps now be called "rustbirds". Option and supplemental orders for 580 additional R-142/R-142A cars would retire the rest of the redbird fleet, and in fact the entirety of non-stainless steel cars on the New York City Subway.

R-142/R-142A Option Order: Option orders for 500 additional cars will be taken according to operations to complete the full retirement of the R36 World's Fair cars. Estimate delivery to begin sometime in early 2002 and complete in 2003.

R-142A Supplemental Order: A supplemental order for 80 additional cars was awarded to Kawasaki in May 2003. Cars will be identical to the R-142A. Delivery expected to be complete by October, 2003.

Test Trains: In July, 2000 the first two test trains began revenue testing. The Bombardier test train consisted of cars 6301-6310 and initially saw spotty service on the #2 line. The Kawasaki train, cars 7211-7220, ran more regularly in service on the #6 line.

The testing will entail running the train on a regular schedule looking for problems. After 30 days with no problems (any problem resets the clock), further car deliveries will begin at the rate of 30 to 40 a month. The cars are delivered to the New York & Atlantic Railroad yard in Fresh Pond, Queens, via the Hell Gate Bridge, from Bombardier's facility in upstate New York or Kawasaki's facility in Yonkers.

New Technology: The R-142/R-142A cars contain much of the new technology tested in the R-110 New Technology Test Program. The cars are configured as "A" (cab) cars, with two motor trucks, and "B" (no cab) cars, each with one motor truck; each truck has two traction motors. They are designed to be linked in 5-car semi-permanent sets in the order A-B-B-B-A but can be linked in 4, 6, 9, or 11 car sets.

Motors/Braking/Trucks: 600 Vdc, AC Traction motor, 150 HP continuous rating, IGBT inverters; dynamic braking with regenerative and pneumatic friction brake system, electronically controlled; outboard bearing truck, welded steel frame.

Automated Announcements: Always wanted to know whose voices are doing the automated announcements in the subway cars? The four different voices are all personalities on Bloomberg radio. (Which surely had nothing to do with the new Mayor; the voices were recorded long prior to the 2001 election.) Who says what? Charlie Pellett ("stand clear of the closing doors, please"), Melissa Kleiner (station announcements on #5 trains), Dianne Thompson (station announcements on #2 trains), and Jessica Ettinger (station announcements on #6 trains).

Length over coupler faces15,650 mm / 51' 4"
Width over side sheets2,670 mm / 8' 9"
Doorway width (side - clear opening)1,372 mm / 4' 6"
Wheel diameter864 mm / 34"
Track gauge1,435 mm / 4' 8 1/2"
Average unit car weight (empty)31,750 kg / 70,000 lb
Maximum design speed100 km/h / 62 mph
Seated passengersA car: 34 / B car: 40
StandeesA car: 148 / B car: 142

R-188 Contract. On May 28, 2010, the R-188 contract was awarded to Kawasaki Rail Car. The base contract, of $166 million USD, provides for 23 new cars (two 11-car trains and one "C" car), and conversion of one pre-existing 10-car R-142A train (which would utilize the "C" car to make an 11-car train). The $493 million option order includes 123 more new cars (8 11-car trains and 35 "C" cars) and conversion of 35 10-car R-142A trains. These trains (46 trainsets total) would provide CBTC service for the Flushing line. The car and wayside CBTC equipment will be provided under a separate contract (which is also part of the MTA 2005-2009 Capital Program).

The new 23 cars of the base order are scheduled for delivery in the 4th quarter of 2012. Delivery of the 88 new option cars is scheduled to take place during the 4th quarter of 2013 through the 1st quarter of 2014. Conversion of the 350 R-142A cars along with the deliveries of the remaining 35 new option single cars, for insertion within the converted cars, are scheduled to take place during the 1st quarter of 2014 through the 4th quarter of 2015. Conversion of the 10 R-142A cars under the base contract will be performed by Kawasaki at its Yonkers facility. However, conversion of the 350 R-142A option cars will be performed by both Kawasaki and NYC Transit personnel. Kawasaki will convert the cab cars (A cars) at its Yonkers facility and the non-cab cars (B cars) will be converted jointly by Kawasaki and NYC Transit personnel at NYC Transit's 207th Street Overhaul Shop. The net result of the base contract and the option will be a total of 46 CBTC-ready eleven-car trains (10 new trains and 36 converted trains) for service on the Flushing Line.

Further revisions to the contract have brought the R-188 project to the following state:

  • Conversion of 380 R-142A cars (ABBBA five-car trainsets) to CBTC-equipped "R-188"s
  • 38 new "C" cars to be inserted into converted R-142A trainsets (numbers 7899-7936)
  • To be arranged ACBBA-ABBBCA


  • Eight new 11-car CBTC-equipped trains arranged ACBBA-ABBBCA (numbers 7811-7898)


  • 126 new cars
  • 46 total CBTC-equipped trainsets

All conversion work is being done at Kawasaki's Yonkers facility instead of split between Kawasaki and NYCT facilities. Test trains have been on NYCT rails since November-December 2012.

Related Documents


Photo Gallery

There are 2565 photos available.
Browse by: Type

and/or Year

and/or Line

and/or Photographer

and/or Car Number

Sort by // Subsort

Five Random Images

Image 3428

(100k, 1044x788)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: Intervale Avenue

Image 47986

(183k, 864x574)
Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
Location: East 180th Street

Image 67601

(140k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Jorge Catayi
Location: 161st Street-River Avenue (Yankee Stadium)

Image 133916

(322k, 1024x681)
Photo by: John Dooley
Location: Whitlock Avenue

Image 144585

(360k, 1024x680)
Photo by: John Dooley
Location: Church Avenue

More Images: 1-50 51-100 101-150 151-200 201-250 251-300 301-350 351-400 401-450 451-500 501-550 551-600 601-650 651-700 701-750 751-800 801-850 851-900 901-950 951-1000 1001-1050 1051-1100 1101-1150 1151-1200 1201-1250 1251-1300 1301-1350 1351-1400 1401-1450 1451-1500 1501-1550 1551-1600 1601-1650 1651-1700 1701-1750 1751-1800 1801-1850 1851-1900 1901-1950 1951-2000 2001-2050 2051-2100 2101-2150 2151-2200 2201-2250 2251-2300 2301-2350 2351-2400 2401-2450 2451-2500 2501-2550 2551-2565

Car Notes

Green Preserved, saved for preservation,
or exists in some state
Yellow Converted to work service
(and later scrapped or still in use)
Red Wrecked/Damaged in accident (and possibly repaired),
or scrapped prior to the bulk of the type

Number Notes
6347 Destroyed in arson fire at 110th Street-Central Park North. See 2020 New York City Subway fire for details.


Subway Car MDBF Data

Copyright © 1995-2012 nycsubway.org.
nycsubway.org is not affiliated with any transit agency or provider.
Not mobile.