R110B (New York City Subway car)

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"R110B" redirects here. For the road, see Route 110.
R110B (New York City Subway car)
R110B 3005.jpg
R110B railcar used in NYCTA Training Center
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation
Constructed 1992
Entered service June 15, 1993
Number built 9
Formation Three-car sets
Fleet numbers 3001-3009
Capacity 42 (A car), 46 (B car)
Operator New York City Subway
Car body construction Stainless steel
Car length 67 ft (20.42 m)
Width 10 ft (3.05 m)
Height 12.08 ft (3.68 m)
Doors 8
Traction system General Electric AC Traction motors: Model GEB 7-B, 202 hp (151 kW), 3 Phase, 4 Pole
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Safety system(s) emergency brakes
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

R110B (contract order R131) was a prototype class of experimental new technology New York City Subway cars built by Bombardier of Canada for service on the IND and BMT (B Division) services delivered in 1992 and entered service on June 15, 1993 on the A service. The R110B was designed to test various new technology features that would eventually be incorporated into the R143 and was also not intended for long-term production use.


There were nine R110B cars, numbered 3001-3009, which were linked into three-car sets. The cab cars are powered with four traction motors each, while the center car of the 3-car set is an un-powered, cab-less trailer. The cars are typical B-Division size, except that they are 67 feet long, a length shared by the BMT Standards, and the SIRT ME-1, along with all of the SEPTA's Broad Street Subway cars and the current PATCO fleets.

The R110B uses the standard subway train control stand, but with some added computerized features. The layout of the controls is desk-style, with switches, lamps, and a single lever to control traction and braking. A CRT with function keys on either side is used to monitor speed, train status, etc.

The R110B's design is similar to that of the R68 cars now in use on the BMT and IND lines, but the ends are more square and use Lexan glass in the windows. Car ends that do not have cabs have an expanse of glass, which makes the car feel open and airy. The seating configuration is the same as in the R68, but the materials are more advanced.

A matte plastic is used that allows scratches, tags and stubborn graffiti to be buffed out using a light abrasive. The seats have a reduced bucket. Internal surfaces are tan fiberglass and plastic, with accents provided using a plastic mosaic applique. The floor uses linoleum with a pattern of slightly raised and textured squares. The R110B cars have handholds for shorter passengers.

There are rollsign line indicators in the front of the train, LCD destination signs (on windows) and interior strip route guides on top of the ad space, and LED indication of stops ahead on both sides.

Another new and important feature was the passenger intercom, which could be used for emergencies.

History, retirement, and after service life[edit]

On November 4, 1996, a fire and explosion occurred on car 3006 while the train was in service on the A train. Set 3004–3006 was, as a result, permanently taken out of service and cannibalized of parts to operate the other two sets. From November 25, 1996, the two remaining sets (3001-3003 and 3007-3009) ran as a six-car train on the C train.[1]

Throughout 1999, the R110Bs had been in and out of service for both repairs and additional component testing. It was permanently removed from service in 2000 due to breakdowns and low Mean Distance Between Failure (MBDF) numbers, and never ran in service ever again.

After retirement, some cars were saved for various purposes though out the New York City Subway system, including:

  • 3001 - sent off to College Point, Queens in early 2014 for use as a training car for the NYPD. Part of the car was disposed of.[2] They replaced R33s 9156-9157.
  • 3005 - used as a training car at P.S. 248, the New York City Transit Learning Center, since July 15, 2004. This car replaced R16 6452.
  • 3004 and 3006 - used as training cars at the Coney Island Yard's firefighting facility since August 2004. These cars replaced R30s 8392 and 8401.

Cars 3002-3003 and 3007-3009 are currently stored at the 207th Street Yard at this time.[3]


Further reading[edit]

  • Sansone, Gene. Evolution of New York City subways: An illustrated history of New York City's transit cars, 1867-1997. New York Transit Museum Press, New York, 1997 ISBN 978-0-9637492-8-4

External links[edit]