R12 (New York City Subway car)

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R12 (New York City Subway car)
MTA NYC R12 5760.JPG
R12 car 5760 on display at the New York Transit Museum
R12 irt subway car interior.jpg
Interior of an R12 car
In service 1948-1981
Manufacturer American Car and Foundry Company
Built at St. Charles, Missouri, USA
Constructed 1948
Number built 100
Number preserved 2
Number scrapped 98
Fleet numbers 5703–5802
Capacity 44 (seated)
Operator New York City Subway
Car body construction LAHT Carbon Steel
Car length 51 ft (15.54 m)
Width 8 ft (2,438 mm)
Height 11 ft (3,353 mm)
Platform height 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Doors 6
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 73,100 lb (33,158 kg)
Traction system General Electric 1240A3 or Westinghouse J1447C
Power output 100 hp (75 kW)
Braking system(s) WABCO E2 "SMEE" Braking System, A.S.F. simplex unit cylinder clasp (tread) brake
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The R12 was a New York City Subway car built in 1948 by the American Car and Foundry Company. The R12 was the first post-war city-owned rolling stock for the IRT division. These cars were very similar to the R10s, except that the R12 was smaller due to A Division specifications. In addition, while the R10s had air-operated door engines (and were the last cars ordered as such), the R12s had electric door engines.

They began service on the IRT Flushing Line (7 <7> services) route in Queens and Manhattan on July 14, 1948, and ran there until 1964 with the delivery of the blue R36 World's Fair cars. The R12 cars were then transferred to operate on other IRT division routes originating in Manhattan, the Bronx, or Brooklyn throughout their service lives. One particular assignment included all fifty of the GE cars (5753-5802) being heavily modified to ease up on the shaking of the old elevated structure, by killing the dynamic brakes and cutting out the third (parallel) notch on their controllers, and sent to the (8) Third Avenue elevated line in the Bronx during August 1969 and ran there until that route's closing on April 29, 1973. In addition, four Westinghouse R12 cars (5703-5706) were slightly modified for use on the Bowling Green – South Ferry Shuttle, and were so-equipped so that the center door of each car could be opened at South Ferry, while keeping the others closed. These cars were used until the shuttle was discontinued on February 12, 1977, and were unmodified and reassigned to the 3 train shortly afterwards.

The R12 had a few paint schemes: originally two-tone gray with orange stripes, then a solid bright red, and finally, in the MTA's silver with blue stripe scheme.

Retirement and Preservation[edit]

The last R12 was removed from service in September 1981 and the fleet became work and other non-revenue cars afterward. The majority of the remainder of the fleet has been scrapped, although some R12 cars have been set aside for preservation over the years. These include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Showing Image 2730". Nycsubway.org. 1998-09-13. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  2. ^ mtattrain No real name given + Add Contact (2010-09-10). "R12 5782 & R22 7486 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 

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