R68 (New York City Subway car)

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R68 (New York City Subway car)
NYCSubway2590.jpg
An R68 NYCS D train at Bay Parkway
R68 Interior.jpeg
Interior of an R68 car.
In service 1986-present
Manufacturer Westinghouse Amrail Company: Westinghouse, ANF Industrie (all cars)
Jeumont Schneider (2500-2724), Alsthom (2725-2924)
Replaced Many R10s, remaining 6300 series Westinghouse equipped R16s, all R27s, and some R30s
Constructed 1986–1988
Number built 425
Number in service 425 (348 in revenue service during rush hours)
Formation 2500–2915 (416 cars) are linked into 4 car units
2916–2924 (9 cars) remain as single units with OPTO switches added
Fleet numbers 2500–2924
Capacity 70 (seated)
Operator New York City Subway
Depot(s) Concourse Yard, Coney Island Yard
Service(s) assigned NYCS B NYCS D NYCS G Franklin Avenue Shuttle
Specifications
Car body construction Stainless steel with fiberglass end bonnets
Train length 2 car train: 150 feet (46 m)
4 car train: 300 feet (91 m)
8 car train: 600 feet (180 m)
Car length 75 ft (22.86 m)
Width 10 ft (3,048 mm)
Height 12.08 ft (3,682 mm)
Platform height 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Doors 8
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 92,720 lb (42,057 kilograms)
Traction system AdTranz E-Cam Propulsion
Westinghouse 1447J motors
115 hp (85.8 kW) on all axles
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Braking system(s) New York Air Braking (NYAB) GSX23 Newtran "SMEE" braking system, NYAB tread brake rigging model TBU190
Coupling system Westinghouse H2C
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The R68 is a type of New York City Subway car for the B Division. The 425 car contract was awarded to the Westinghouse Amrail Company, a joint venture of Westinghouse, ANF Industrie, Jeumont Schneider, and Alsthom. The cars were built in France from 1986 to 1988 and shipped through New York Harbor. They replaced many R10s dating from 1948, all remaining 6300-series R16s dating from 1954 to 1955, and some R27s and R30s dating from 1960 to 1962.

Overview[edit]

The R68 was the third R-class contract to be built with 75-foot (22.86 m) cars (the previous two being the R44 and R46), which have more room for sitting and standing passengers per car than the 60-foot (18.29 m) cars that were used previously and afterward.

The R68s manufactures suffered from significant system integration problems. Inadequate communication and coordination between the carbody builder (ANF Industrie) and the chassis assembler (Westinghouse) led to operational failures and the R68s became known as a lemon. However, extensive work performed by the New York City Transit Authority provided solutions to the fleet's many problems.

The R68s first entry to revenue service was on June 20, 1986 on the Brooklyn half of the divided D train with the first fleet consisting of cars 2500-2507. There were two contracts to supply the R68 fleet. The primary order consisted of cars 2500-2724 while the R68-1 option order consisted of cars 2725-2924.

R68s are based out of the Concourse Yard in the Bronx and the Coney Island Complex in Brooklyn and assigned to the B, D, G, and Franklin Avenue Shuttle. The R68s that operate on the Franklin Avenue Shuttle have some noticeable differences from the main line cars. These cars have permanent side signs instead of rollsigns, remain set up as single units with OPTO switches added (unlike the rest of the R68s, which have been configured into sets of four), and car 2923 has three-piece side windows.

The R68s are scheduled to remain in service until at least 2025[1] and the MTA is proposing mid-life technological upgrades for the fleet including LED destination signs and automated announcements. However, it is unlikely that these improvements will be implemented in the near future.[2]

Differences between R68s and R68As[edit]

  • The door to the operator's cab slides open on an R68A as opposed to swinging open on an R68.
  • The R68 and R68A fleets have different window frames.
  • Unlike the R68s, the R68As do not feature rims around the red door indicator lights.
  • The "MTA New York City Subway" logos are arranged differently between the two car types.
  • The side ribbing runs all the way to the car ends and side doors on an R68, but taper off on approach on an R68A.
  • Only the R68s have a metal bar separating the side sign from window, while the R68A has one solid pane of glass.
  • The R68s have unit numbers in the 2000-series while the R68As have numbers in the 5000-series.
  • Door lights at the end of the R68 cars, by the storm doors, point towards the other end of the car, while on the R68As, they point down to the seat.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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]