R110A (New York City Subway car)

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"R110A" redirects here. For the road, see Route 110.
R130 train at East 239th Street Yard.jpg
R110A at the 239th Street Yard in the Bronx
In service 1993-1999
Manufacturer Kawasaki Rail Car Company
Constructed 1992
Entered service June 15, 1993
Number built 10
Number in service (6 in work service)
Formation Five-car sets or ABBBA
Fleet numbers 8001–8010
Capacity 24 (A car), 28 (B car)
Operator(s) New York City Subway
Car body construction Stainless steel
Car length 51 ft 4 in (15.65 m)
Width 8 ft (2.44 m)
Height 12 ft (3.66 m)
Floor height 3 ft (0.91 m)
Doors 6
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)

15,478 lb (7,021 kg) (motor car)

9,800 lb (4,400 kg) (trailer car)
Traction system AEG (ADtranz) AC traction motors: Model 1501A, 150 hp (110 kW), three- phase, four-pole
Electric system(s) 625 V DC third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Braking system(s) WABCO RT7
Safety system(s) dead man's switch, tripcock
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The R110A (contract R130) was a prototype new technology New York City Subway car model built in 1992 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries.


The R110As are numbered 8001-8010. The R110A was designed to test out new technology features that would be incorporated into future New Technology Trains, including the R142 car order, and it was not intended for long-term production use.[1]


The order is split into two five-car sets (8001-8005 and 8006-8010) that are permanently coupled together. Each car is 51 feet 4 inches (15.65 m) like other A Division subway cars.[2]

At each end of the five-car set, there is a full-width cab. The cab cars are powered by four traction motors each. The center car of each five-car set is an unpowered trailer, and the other two cars are powered by two traction motors each.[3][4]


The R110A cars are similar to R62s, but they have squarer ends and wider 63-inch passenger entry doors (over a foot wider than the R62 doors, which were 50 inches) that are staggered for better passenger flow, because passengers would stand in the niche instead of in front of each door.[3] All car ends have clear lexan glass, allowing passengers to see through to the next car, except on cab ends. The famous Italian designer Massimo Vignelli was hired to design the car interior with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts for Transit program. The R110A has very bright colors with speckled black floors and with walls that are speckled gray. Unnecessary edges were removed from stanchions, poles, and bars to create a smoother and cleaner appearance. The United States Department of Transportation National Endowment for the Arts gave the 1995 national award for transportation design as a result of these efforts.[5]

Seating is improved by eliminating the bucket seats in favor of comfortable benches in bright colors. The interior has longitudinal seats on one side and transverse seating on the other, unlike previous IRT cars, which since 1910 have always featured all-longitudinal seating. One side is shifted from the other, making part of the bench on one side of the car face a door on the other side. Some seating space is removed to allow for wider doors. Interior surfaces are fiberglass, which is resistant to graffiti.[3] As a result, there was a significant reduction in seats, from a total of 440 in a train of R62As, to 264 in a train of R110As. However, the number of standees went up from 1,332 to 1,684. The seating capacity is 24 in the A cars, and 28 in the non-cab B cars. As a result of the loss of seats, there were complaints from the riding public, and as a result, most of the seats were restored on the first New Technology Train orders, the R142s and R142As.[5]

There are LED exterior line indicator signs on all cars, LCD destination signs in windows, and LED interior next stop/variable message signs inside the cars. The LED display on the front of the car could either be red, for Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line service, or green, for Lexington Avenue Line service.

The R110As came with computerized cabs containing a control stand consisting of a single lever for traction and braking control, a reversing key, a small numeric and symbol keypad, and an LCD flat panel display. The display is used in conjunction with the keypad to control doors, reset alarms of various sorts including the passenger alert system, display train speed and braking information, and do much more.[5]


During the 1970s and 1980s, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had made several large orders for subway cars, such as the R46, which had new components added to them. However, because there was not a prototype built first for testing, many expensive retrofits were required. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was in the process of creating the first technologically-advanced subway car since the R44 in the early 1970s.[6] In order to avoid the aforementioned problem, in 1989, the MTA awarded contracts for two prototype test trains, one of which was the R110A (contract R130) for the A Division built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and the R110B (contract R131) for the B Division built by Bombardier Transportation.[7][8] The cost for each R110A car was $2,209,000.[3][5] The R110As were built in 1992.[1]

These two fleets, were called the New Technology Test Trains (NTTTs), and would test features that would be implemented on future mass-production orders, specifically the New Technology Trains.[8][5][9][6][10] The R110A tested new technology including AC propulsion with regeneration, microprocessor-controlled doors and brakes, roof-mounted hermetic air-conditioning units, and fabricated trucks with air bags suspension. Passenger emergency intercoms for contacting train crews, passenger alarm strips to press in case of an emergency, improved lighting, glass to see into the next cars and the platform, and computerized announcements were all implemented.[5]

It was proposed by MTA New York City Transit, to include an articulated train under the R110A contract, but because of the impact it would have had on the project's budget and schedule it was rejected.[11][12]

The R110A cars entered service on June 15, 1993, on the 2 service. In 1999, they were pulled out of service due to brake problems and fire damage, and were transported back and forth between IRT line yards and stored until 2013.[13]

Reconditioning and current status[edit]

In 2013, it was decided to convert the cars to pump cars as the car bodies had many years of service left on them. Cars 8002–8004 were converted to pump cars in 2013 until summer 2014, while 8007–8009 were converted in the fall 2014. 8005 was completely stripped of parts to become a pump train as well; however, the conversion process was halted sometime in 2014 as it was decided to use only the B-cars for pump train service. The B-cars were renumbered to P8002-P8004 and P8007-P8009 after conversion. The conversion of six cars for pump train service helped increase the number of available pump trains; this will shorten the amount of time it takes to pump water out of the subway system.[14]

A more detailed list of the known statuses of the non-converted A-cars is shown below. Future plans are unknown for the four cars.

  • 8001 and 8006 – stored at the 207th Street Yard, missing various components.
  • 8005 – stored at the 207th Street Yard, stripped of most components.[15]
  • 8010 – stored at the 207th Street Yard, retains all its components.


  1. ^ a b "Manhattan East Side Transit Alternatives MIS/DEIS Chapter 9D Rail Transit" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 1999. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Supplementary Information for §1269(d) 2012 – 2017" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Greller, James Clifford (2011). New York Subway Cars From R-1 To R-160. West Orange, New Jersey: Xplorer Press. ISBN 0-9645765-8-9. 
  4. ^ Cudahy, Brian J. (2009-08-25). A Century of Subways: Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways. Fordham University Press. ISBN 9780823222957. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Gene Sansone (25 October 2004). New York Subways: An Illustrated History of New York City's Transit Cars. JHU Press. pp. 273–282. ISBN 978-0-8018-7922-7. 
  6. ^ a b Seaton, Charles (December 6, 2006). "New York City Bringing Rail Into the 21st Century". Metro Magazine. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Sims, Calvin (May 9, 1990). "For This Project, Subway Cars Are the Stuff of Dreams". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Transit Cooperative Research Program Report 46: The Role of Transit Amenities and Vehicle Characteristics in Building Transit Ridership: Amenities for Transit Handbook and The Transit Design Game Workbook; PART 2: IMPACTS OF AMENITIES" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Transportation Research Board, Project for Public Spaces, National Academy Press. 1999. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Pierre-Pierre, Garry (January 22, 1997). "After a Few Suggestions, City Presents Subway Cars With Seats of Amplitude". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  10. ^ "MTA | Press Release | MTA Headquarters | The Train of the Future Now a Museum Piece". www.mta.info. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  11. ^ "A look at the 20 Year Needs: Articulated trains". Second Ave. Sagas. 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  12. ^ "Why Don't We Get Articulated Trainsets?". 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  13. ^ "R-110A/R-110B New Technology Program". Nycsubway.org. 1996-11-04. Retrieved 2010-06-06. 
  14. ^ "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting June 2014" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. June 23, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  15. ^ Negron, Daniel (February 14, 2013). "Showing Image 138752". nycsubway.org. nycsubway.org. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 

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