R143 (New York City Subway car)

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"R143" redirects here. For the road, see Route 143. For the refrigerant "1,1,2-Trifluoroethane", see List of refrigerants.
NYCSubway8253 on the L line.jpg
An R143 train on the NYCS-bull-trans-L.svg at Broadway Junction.
NYC Subway R143 8283 Interior.jpg
Interior of an R143 car.
In service 2002-present
Manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Built at Yonkers, New York; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Kobe, Japan
Family name NTT (new technology train)
Replaced R40s, R40As, and R42s on the NYCS-bull-trans-L.svg service (reassigned to other routes, but not scrapped)
Constructed 2001-2003
Entered service February 12, 2002
Number built 212
Number in service 208 (160 in revenue service during rush hours)
Formation 4-car sets (2 A cars and 2 B cars)
Fleet numbers 8101-8312
Capacity 240 (A car)
246 (B car)
Operator(s) New York City Subway
Depot(s) East New York Yard (212 cars)[1]
Service(s) assigned NYCS-bull-trans-L.svg – 168 cars (21 trains, AM rush)
 – 152 cars (21 trains, AM rush)
Car body construction Stainless steel with fiberglass rear bonnets
Train length 4 car train: 240.84 feet (73.41 m)
8 car train: 481.68 feet (146.82 m)
Car length 60.21 feet (18.35 m)
Width 9.77 feet (2,978 mm)
Height 12.13 feet (3,697 mm)
Platform height 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Doors 8 per car
Maximum speed 55 mi (89 km)
Weight A car:83,700 lb (38,000 kg)
B car:81,900 lb (37,100 kg)
Traction system Bombardier MITRAC propulsion system, 3-Phase AC Traction Motors Model 1508C
Prime mover(s) electric motor
Power output 150 hp (111.9 kW) per axle
Acceleration 2.5 mph/s (4.0 km/(h·s))
Deceleration 2.5 mph/s (4.0 km/(h·s))
(full service),
3.2 mph/s (5.1 km/(h·s))
Auxiliaries SAFT 250AH battery (B car)
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Braking system(s) Dynamic braking propulsion system; WABCO RT96 tread brake system; safety brakes
Safety system(s) emergency brakes
Headlight type incandescent light bulb
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The R143 is a standard gauge New York City Subway B Division new technology (NTT) car built by Kawasaki in 2001-2003. The New York City Transit Authority owns 212 R143 cars, numbered 8101-8312, and built for an average cost of about $1.5 million per car.


The contract for the R143 was put out for bidding in January 1998. The initial contract called for 100 sixty-foot cars that would come in five-car sets. The new cars would be expected to have automatic PA announcements, high efficiency lighting, emergency intercom and customer alarms, AC propulsion motors, speedometers and event recorders, electronic information display signs, artwork, a central diagnostics monitoring system, microprocessor controlled air compressor, brake and communication systems, roof mounted microprocessor controlled HVAC, and to be compliant with ADA requirements.[2]

Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. was awarded a $190 million contract for 100 new B Division cars in late December 1998, with an option for 112 more cars.[3] The new design was based on the A Division's R142A, which Kawasaki also built,[4] and incorporated many features from the R110A and R110B prototypes. Delivery began in late 2001, and a 30-day test with one train of eight cars (8101-8108) began on December 4, 2001.[5][6] According to Kawasaki, the test was "extremely successful".[4]

R143s began running on the BMT Canarsie Line (L train) on February 12, 2002, where they have been assigned to since,[7] and all 212 cars were delivered by March 2003.[8] In addition to running on the L,[9] where the R143s displaced the R40/R40As and most of the R42s,[10] they also displaced the R42s on the M weekend shuttle service on the BMT Myrtle Avenue Line when that line became the first Eastern Division line to be placed in weekend OPTO service. The R143s there were then displaced by R160As in February 2008. OPTO was also tested on the L during mid-2005.[11][12]

The 212 cars delivered were expected to provide enough service for years, but the fast growth of the Williamsburg neighborhood overloaded the L by mid-2006.[13]

The R143 cars are based at East New York Yard near Broadway Junction. The R143s are almost identical to the R160s, however the two car types can not be interchanged with each other.[14]

R143 8 car trainset #8205-8212 (2 4-car sets) were originally delivered with experimental Siemens traction motors to test the traction motors that would be later found in R160B cars 8843-9102.[15][16] These cars were eventually refitted with the Bombardier traction motors found on all other R143s.


On June 21, 2006, an eight-car R143 train overshot the bumper at the end of the tracks in the Canarsie Yard after the operator suffered a seizure. Lead car 8277 suffered significant damage and has been stripped of damaged parts for repair. It was sent to the Kawasaki plant in Yonkers while the rest of the set (8278-8280) is at the 207th Street Yard. However, 8277 was repaired for 5 years at the 207th Street and Coney Island Repair Shops and the repair work continues to be done.[17] 8278 also suffered minor body damage but was repaired sometime between 2009-2011 and coupled back up with 8279-8280.[18][19] 8277 has been put back into a four-car set with 8278-8280, but the consist is in need of some component replacement to become operational.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New York Subway Barn Assignments – November 6, 2016
  2. ^ "R34143 PURCHASE 100 CARS DIVISION 'B' OVER $10M". www.mta.nyc.ny.us. New York City Transit. 1998-01-27. Retrieved 2016-09-18. 
  3. ^ "Metro Business; Subway Job to Kawasaki". The New York Times. December 30, 1998. 
  4. ^ a b Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc., New York City Transit R143 Subway Cars, accessed April 14, 2007
  5. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org. 
  6. ^ "First run of the R143s". New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. January 2002. 
  7. ^ Kennedy, Randy (July 31, 2002). "1,700 Subway Cars to Be Built Under Largest Such Contract in New York History". The New York Times. p. B3. 
  8. ^ "Kawasaki completes NYCT R143 order. (Market).(New York City Transit)(subway cars contract)". Railway Age. HighBeam Research. March 1, 2003. 
  9. ^ Patrick McGeehan, New York Times, Port Authority to Replace PATH Fleet for $499 Million, April 1, 2005, page B5
  10. ^ "Showing Image 5251". nycsubway.org. 
  11. ^ On L Train, Drivers Perform Solo, Without Conductors, June 20, 2005, page B3
  12. ^ Conductors Are Returning to the Subway's L Line
  13. ^ New York Daily News, Oh, L, not enuf trains!, July 7, 2006
  14. ^ Chan, Sewell (2005-11-30). "New Subway Cars Promise All Kinds of Information". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  15. ^ R143 L with Siemens propulsion. YouTube. 10 May 2007. 
  16. ^ R143 With Siemens Propulsion. YouTube. 18 June 2007. 
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^ [3]
  20. ^ "New York City Subway Car Update" (PDF). The Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association (April 2016). March 30, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Media related to R143 (New York City Subway car) at Wikimedia Commons