The R-143 series of subway
cars are the new generation of subway
cars for the BMT
division of the New York City
subway system. They are not yet in regular service, but once they are, they will be the newest, shiniest, and most technologically advanced cars in regular use on the system, 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 40 year old R32
, R40M, and R42
cars which they will likely replace. Some of the unique features are:
- Extremely bright interiors - we're talking operating room
- Full big windows 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 or no vertical poles in the middle of the car cluttering things up
- Squared car shape for more interior room
- scratch-free plexi-glass
- computer climate control
- possible attractive tile mosaic band across top of interior walls
It looks like they will feature all bench seating just like the cars they will replace, but unlike the R-110B, which had a combination of bench and individual seating.
The first R-143s have been delivered to the system recently in the summer of 2001. So far, as of August, only two trains full of cars has arrived from the Yonkers Kawasaki facility that will manufacture them. They will undergo an extensive testing program of non-revenue and revenue service that will resemble the program for the IRT R142 cars last year. (Consistent with this, In late July, Investigative noder QXZ reported seeing a 143 train crossing the Williamsburg Bridge tracks, probably on its way to testing on the L and J lines, where most of the 143s will likely see service.) After working out the kinks, many more trains worth of R143 cars will be delivered, enough to retire most if not all of the older 65' BMT/IND cars on the system.
Most of the 65' BMT/IND cars run on the BMT eastern division (the L and JMZ lines mentioned above) and so this is where most of the 143s will likely be. This will bring up the funny situation of the newest and sleekest cars being run in some of the most run-down and least touristy parts of the system. Most visitors to New York will never encounter one. However, the C, E, N, and Q lines have also been running some 65' cars, so they may see some 143s. No word yet on if and when a new generation of 75' cars will come along.