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.
R143 (New York City Subway car)
Manhattan bound R143 L train at New Lots.jpg
An R143 train on the NYCS-bull-trans-L.svg at New Lots Avenue.
Interior of an R143 car.
In service 2001-present
Manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Built at Yonkers, New York; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Kobe, Japan
Replaced R40s, R40As, and R42s on the NYCS-bull-trans-L.svg service (reassigned to other routes, but not scrapped)
Constructed 2001-2003
Number built 212
Number in service 208 (152 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[1]
Service(s) assigned NYCS-bull-trans-L.svg – 152 cars
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 cars are mainly used on the BMT Canarsie Line (L train), but have been used on other BMT Eastern Division routes as well over their history. The New York City Transit Authority owns 212 R143 cars, numbered 8101 to 8312, and built for an average cost of about $1.5 million per car.


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.[2] The new design was based on the A Division's R142A, which Kawasaki also built,[3] 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.[4] According to Kawasaki, the test was "extremely successful".[3]

R143s began running on the BMT Canarsie Line (L services) on February 12, 2002,[5] and all 212 cars were delivered to the subway by March 2003.[6] In addition to running on the L,[7] where the R143s displaced the R40/R40As and most of the R42s,[8] they also displaced the R42s on the M weekend shuttle service on the BMT Myrtle Avenue Line. The R143s on the M were replaced by R160As in February 2008. One Person Train Operation was tested on the L during mid-2005.[9][10]

Eight R143s numbered 8205-8212 were originally delivered with experimental Siemens traction motors to test the traction motors that would be later found in some of the R160B cars (numbers 8843-9102).[11][12] These cars were eventually refitted with the Bombardier traction motors found on all other R143s.

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]

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 has been worked on for the past 5 years at the 207th Street and Coney Island Repair Shops and the repair work continues to be done.[14] 8278 also suffered a bit of body damage but was repaired sometime between 2009-2011 and coupled back up with 8279-8280. [15] [16]

Differences between the R143 and R160 cars[edit]

The R143s are almost identical to the R160s.[17] However, there are differences between the two car models:

  • The R143s have standard plastic card route "strip maps", with 63 LEDs in the map,[18] as well as LED advertisements, while R160s have the FIND system, with 15 "next stop" slots,[17] and Arts for Transit cards, similar to the R142s and R188s.
  • The American flag on the ends of the A-unit cars is placed above the MTA New York City Subway logo on the R160s, but below it on the R143s.
  • The R143s have Bombardier traction motors while R160s have Alstom and Siemens traction motors.
  • The R143s have single storm doors at the blind ends, while the R160s have double storm doors at the blind ends.
  • The taillights on the R143s use incandescent bulbs with reflectors while the R160 taillights use LEDs with their characteristic dot-matrix look.
  • The rim around the interior LED lights are black on the R160s and white on the R143s.
  • The LED side signs are a smaller font on R143s than they are on R160s.
  • The propulsion sound on the R143 can be described as a rolling sound similar to R142As and R188s,as the R160s have a stepping propulsion sound like the R142s.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]