The new cars being described in this node are the R-142 and R-142A series, and they are NOT experimental. The experimental cars were the R-110A and R-110B trains, which debuted in the early 90s. There was only one train set of each of those and their purpose was to test the new technologies and features that would be rolled out on a new generation of cars, of which the R-142s are a part, hence the 'experiment'.
The 142 order is huge, enough to retire all of the 'redbirds'. They are not an experiment but the fruits of an experiment.
Also, some of them are built by Bombardier, specifically the R-142 series, while the R-142A series is Kawasaki.
Another result of the R-110 experiment is the R-143 order, of which only one trainful has been delivered. The 143s are the counterparts to the IRT 142s built to BMT/IND dimensions and will probably see service on the L, J and M Trains beginning within the next year.
Here are some ways in which the R-142s differ dramatically from previous generations of NYC subway cars:
- 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