R15 (New York City Subway car)

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R15 (New York City Subway car)
R15 car 6239 on display at the New York Transit Museum.
In service 1950-1984
Manufacturer American Car and Foundry
Constructed 1950
Number built 100
Number preserved 1
Number scrapped 99
Fleet numbers 5953-5999, 6200-6252
Capacity 44 (seated)
Operator New York City Transit Authority
Service(s) assigned none
Car body construction LAHT Carbon steel
Car length 51 ft 0 12 in (15.56 m)
Width 8 ft 10 316 in (2,697 mm)
Height 11 ft 10 in (3,607 mm)
Floor height 3 ft 9 in (1.14 m)
Doors 6
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 74,778 lb (33,919 kg)
Power output 100 hp (75 kW) per traction motor
Transmission Westinghouse XM-179 or General Electric 17KC76A1
Auxiliaries 100 hp (75 kW) (4 per car)
Power supply Westinghouse 1447C or General Electric 1240A3
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail]
Current collection method Top running Contact shoe
Braking system(s) WABCO Schedule SMEE with A-1 Application package, J1 relay valve, ME-42A brake stand, and A.S.F simplex unit cylinder clasp brake rigging
Coupling system WABCO H2C
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The R15 was a New York City Subway car built in 1950 by the American Car and Foundry Company. These cars were somewhat similar to the R12/R14 cars and they were the first to feature round (turtle-back) roofs, porthole door windows, and conductors door operating apparatus controls located inside the motorman's cabs, instead of on the outsides as on the R12/R14s.[1] They began service on the 7 (IRT Flushing Line) service in Queens and Manhattan on February 4, 1950, running there until 1964 with the delivery of R33 WF/R36 WF cars. While they ran in solid consists on the Flushing line, the R15s were always intermixed with later cars once they were transferred to the mainlines.

Eventually, the R15 cars were transferred to operate on other IRT division routes originating in Manhattan, the Bronx and/or Brooklyn throughout their service lives, starting in 1964, and ran there until their retirement on December 10, 1984 when the R15s were replaced by the R62/R62A fleet.

Preservation and Work Service[edit]

Car 6239 had been previously and fully restored in 1976 and survives today as part of the displayed collection at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn. It has operated on fantrips since 2004, and is the sole surviving R15 unit in existence.

Cars 5965, 5984-5985, 5989, and 6214 were converted into R71 rider cars after retirement, but were replaced with R161s (R33s converted into rider cars) in the mid-2000s.[2]


  1. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org. 
  2. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org.