The R-142 series of subway
cars are the new generation of subway cars for the IRT
division of the New York City
subway system. Currently they are the newest, shiniest, and most technologically advanced cars currently in regular use on the system (as of summer 2001
), and perhaps in the world. They feature technology
and ergonomic concepts developed in the R-110A / R-100B
test program, which makes them noticeably different from the other cars on the New York Subway, and glaringly different from the 50 year old 'redbird' cars they are replacing. Some of these features are:
- Extremely bright interiors with some full spectrum recessed lighting
- Full windows and sliding double doors between cars
- Quieter and smoother air-suspended ride with computer-controlled balance
- Clear automated station announcements
- Lighted maps that show the train's position
- Scrolling interior LED displays of the next station, time, etc..
- Large exterior LED displays of route number and destination
- Non-pastel color scheme
- Full conductor and motorman's cabs with touch screen operation
- No half cabs at each car end
- Suspended bench seats with room for bag storage underneath
- Wider entryway doors for easier crowd flow that are impossible to pry open
- Fewer vertical poles in the middle of the car cluttering things up
- A bar suspended from the ceiling for easy 'straphanging'
- Squared car shape for more room
- Flip-up seats for more standing room in peak periods
- scratch-free plexi-glass
The first R-142s were delivered to the system in winter of 2000, where they began an extensive testing regimen. The first 142 in passenger service was on the 6 line in summer 2000, and today there are many trains worth of 142 cars running on the 6, as well as several on the 2 Train. Many more are being delivered, prepared and tested, and soon they will completely replace the redbirds, which are currently about half of the IRT fleet.
There are actually two orders of R-142s, the R-142 series, manufactured by Bombardier, and the R-142A series, manufactured by Kawasaki. Their counterparts built to BMT/IND specifications are the R-143s, which will debut soon.
Many people have shared their impressions of the 142s in the new experimental New York City subway cars (but this is technically incorrect since they are not experimental).