R179 (New York City Subway car)

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R179 (New York City Subway car)
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation
Constructed 2014-2016
Number under construction 300 (260 in 4-car sets, 40 in 5-car sets)
Formation 65 four-car sets (two B cars)
8 five-car sets (three B cars)
Operator New York City Subway
Train length 4 car train: 240.84 feet (73.41 m)
5 car train: 301.05 feet (91.76 m)
8 car train: 481.68 feet (146.82 m)
10 car train: 602.1 feet (183.5 m)
Car length 60.21 feet (18.35 m)
Doors 8 per car
Traction system Bombardier MITRAC AC Propulsion
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The R179 is a future New York City Subway car ordered for the B Division. These cars will replace all of the existing R32 and R42 cars, which are running well past the average service life of a New York City Subway car, and expand the fleet for the Second Avenue Subway. The contract to build these cars has been awarded to Bombardier Transportation,[1][2] who will build the cars in its Plattsburgh, New York facility.


The R179 contract, which originally consisted of 420 cars, was intended to replace all of the R44s. Due to structural integrity issues found on the New York City Transit R44 fleet in early 2010, its retirement was facilitated by option order cars of the R160s. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority later dropped the plan to order R179s for the Staten Island Railway, instead opting to overhaul some R46s to replace the existing R44s there. However, the plan to overhaul the R46s for the Staten Island Railway was recently dropped, and new future R211 cars can potentially replace the Staten Island Railway's fleet of R44s instead.


The proposed MTA 2010-2014 Capital Program has pointed toward an order of 60-foot (18.29 m) cars.[3] The order is to be broken down into a base order of 300 cars, The MTA Board of Directors approved the award of a contract to Bombardier on March 24, 2012 and signed the awarded contract on June 4, 2012 to Bombardier Transportation for $599 million.

The official RFP was issued on June 3, 2010. Bids were due by the following August 13, but the contract was not awarded until March 24, 2012 to Bombardier Transportation.[1] The contract specified the purchase of 290 cars with 250 arranged as 5-car sets and the remaining 40 arranged in 4-car sets, with the 50 Option I cars arranged in 5-car sets. There was also a second option for 80 additional cars, pending funding.[4] As of January 2012, the base order had been amended to a total of 300 cars, 260 of which will be in 4-car sets, and 40 of which will be in 5-car sets, with no options.[5]

The order of the R179 series was not without controversy. A recent news report from the New York Daily News[6] indicated that an official at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had been in talks with car builder Bombardier Transportation, Inc. for a job. This prompted an ethics investigation, but has since been resolved.[7]

The base order will retire all remaining R32s (222 cars) and R42s (50 cars). Any additional cars ordered will be used for fleet expansion for the opening of the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway or installation of communications-based train control (CBTC).

A non operational mock up was built in late November 2013. Delivery of the first 8- or 10-car test train is scheduled for December 2014, with delivery of the production cars scheduled to begin July 2015 and continue through January 2017.[8][9]

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