R160 (New York City Subway car)

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"R160" redirects here. For the Bangladeshi road, see R160 (Bangladesh).
R160 (New York City Subway car)
MTA NYC Subway F train arriving at Avenue P.JPG
An R160A train on the NYCS-bull-trans-F.svg arriving at Avenue P.
R160 Interior.jpg
Interior of an R160B car on the NYCS-bull-trans-E.svg.
In service 2006-present
Manufacturer Alstom, Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Family name NTT (new technology train)
Constructed 2005-2010
Entered service Late 2006
Number in service 1,662 (1,430 in revenue service during rush hours)
Formation 93 four-car sets (two B cars)
258 five-car sets (three B cars)
Fleet numbers
  • R160A four-car sets: 8313–8652; 9943–9974
  • R160A five-car sets: 8653–8712; 9233–9802
  • R160B: 8713–9232; 9803–9942
Capacity 54 seating 198 standing (A car)
56 seating 202 standing (B car)
Operator(s) New York City Subway
Depot(s) 207th Street Yard (92 cars)
Coney Island Yard (530 cars)
East New York Yard (280 cars)
Jamaica Yard (760 cars)[1]
Service(s) assigned
  • R160A (four-car sets):
    NYCS-bull-trans-C.svg – 80 cars (10 trains)
    NYCS-bull-trans-J.svg NYCS-bull-trans-Z.svg – 24 cars (3 trains)
    NYCS-bull-trans-L.svg – 32 cars (4 trains)
    NYCS-bull-trans-M.svg – 184 cars (23 trains)
  • R160A (five-car sets):
    NYCS-bull-trans-E.svg – 260 cars (26 trains)
    NYCS-bull-trans-F.svg – 260 cars (26 trains)
    NYCS-bull-trans-Q.svg – 20 cars (2 trains)
  • R160B:
    NYCS-bull-trans-F.svg – 140 cars (14 trains)
    NYCS-bull-trans-N.svg – 230 cars (23 trains)
    NYCS-bull-trans-Q.svg – 200 cars (20 trains)
Car body construction Stainless steel with fiberglass ends and rear bonnets
Train length 4-car train: 240.84 feet (73.41 m)
5-car train: 301.05 feet (91.76 m)
8-car train (two 4-car sets): 481.68 feet (146.82 m)
10-car train (two 5-car sets): 602.1 feet (183.5 m)
Car length 60.21 feet (18.35 m)
Width 9.77 feet (2,978 mm)
Height 12.13 feet (3,697 mm)
Floor height 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Platform height 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Entry 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Doors 8 pairs per car
Articulated sections 2 to 4 in every car.
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 85,200 lb (38,600 kg)
Traction system Alstom Onix AC traction model: 4LCA1640A (8313-8842, 9103-9974)
Siemens SITRAC AC traction motor (cars 8843-9102)
Prime mover(s) electric motor
Power output 147.5 hp (110 kW) to
150 hp (112 kW) per axle
All axles motorized[2][3]
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 RT-5 tread brake system
Safety system(s) Dead Man's Handle, Signal-based Tripcock System, emergency brakes, passenger to conductor emergency talk system
Headlight type halogen light bulb
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The R160 is a class of 1,662 new technology (NTT) New York City Subway cars built by two different companies: Alstom Transportation and Kawasaki. The class was built by two manufacturers, so they are designated as "R160A" (Alstom) and "R160B" (Kawasaki). The two car subtypes are nearly identical to each other, with only a few differences.


The R160A base order was part of a $961,687,121 contract funded in part by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration.[4] The R160s are designed to operate on the New York City Transit Authority's lettered services (B Division), and were intended to replace older subway cars. The primary base order of the R160 class consisted of 660 cars, 400 R160As to be built by Alstom, and the remaining 260 R160Bs to be built by Kawasaki. The contract included options for further orders, which, if exercised, would have brought total business with NYCT to about US$2.4 billion, for 1,700 subway cars, and Kawasaki would have manufactured 40% (680 cars) of the 1,700 cars. The R160 fleet was purchased at an average cost of $1.28 million USD per car.

R160 cars are configured in either four- or five-car sets. Three hundred and seventy-two R160A cars (#8313-8652 and #9943-9974) are configured as four-car sets. Most of the fleet is maintained at East New York Yard for the BMT Eastern Division (J/Z, L, and M); the last few are maintained at the 207th Street Yard for the C. The remaining 630 R160A cars and all R160Bs are configured as five-car sets for use on IND and BMT main line services. Some are maintained at Jamaica Yard, typically operating on the E and F, and some others are maintained at the Coney Island Yard, typically operating on the N and Q.

The R160s have replaced all R38s, R40s, R40As, and New York City Subway-operated R44s, as well as the majority of R32s and R42s.


Front route display on an R160 in service on the non-operational NYCS-bull-trans-W.svg route.
The R160 FIND system on a Coney Island-bound NYCS-bull-trans-F.svg train.
The interior of R160 car #9800 with experimental looped stanchions

The R160 cars are equipped with the latest control system, HVAC and public address system to guarantee the utmost safety and passenger comfort. The R160s are very similar to the R143s, however the two car types can not be interchanged with each other.[5]

One of the major changes and highlights of the new cars is the addition of an electronic "FIND" (Flexible Information and Notice Display) system, which includes an LCD screen displaying the route, route information and advertisements, and a tri-color (red, yellow, green) LED strip map which displays the next ten stations, plus five consecutive "further stops" to riders. There are three of these in every car. The display updates the stations at every stop, also giving the number of stops to each station listed, and replaces a plastic card which had a set route and stations printed on, which was used on the R142, R142A, R143, and R188 subway cars, each of which has 63 (001 thru 063) amber LED dots type station indicators. This allows for instant route or line changes with the correct information, which includes, but is not limited to, omitting of certain stops.[5]

Both the R160As and R160Bs come with provisions for the future installation for CBTC. However, only 64 R160As (#8313-8376) have been retrofitted with CBTC equipment for operation on the L route alongside trains of CBTC-equipped R143 cars.[6][7]

R160A cars 9798-9802 have been retrofitted with experimental looped stanchions, and this feature will be used on the R179 subway cars that are under-construction, and they might be used on the future R211 cars.



Kawasaki and Alstom organized a joint venture called Alskaw Inc. for project management, engineering and equipment purchasing to pursue the contract. The two companies built and delivered the rolling stock through the joint venture. Kawasaki not only manufactured 260 cars for the base contract, but was also the engineering leader for the whole project and provided the trucks for all cars. Alstom assembled 1,002 R160A cars at its manufacturing plant in Hornell, New York, while Kawasaki assembled 660 R160B cars at its plant in Yonkers, New York.[8] Shells for the Alstom-built cars were built in their Lapa plant, in São Paulo, Brazil, and shells for the Kawasaki-built cars were assembled at their Lincoln, Nebraska, plant. The base order consisted of 660 cars, the first option included 620 cars, and the second option included 382 cars.[9]


Early on in the order, Alstom encountered significant start-up production problems since being awarded the base contract. In July 2005, Alstom missed its contractual deadline to deliver a 10-car test train, which arrived five months late with Alstom requesting three additional months to deliver the test train. Finally on November 29, 2005, the first five cars (#8653-8657) of this test train were delivered, and the next remaining five cars (#8658-8662) were delivered on December 6, 2005, to the New York City Transit Authority for a complete 10-car train for acceptance testing and evaluation. It entered revenue service on the A for its 30-day acceptance test on October 17, 2006, after several months of exhaustive testing, which it passed on November 16, 2006, and all testing and acceptance was concluded. In addition, the Transit Authority rejected several car shells made earlier at their plant in Lapa, Brazil, near São Paulo, after discovering welding defects.[10]

Early on in the order, Alstom was also behind on its delivery schedule. Alstom was to deliver 200 out of the 400-car base order by September 2007. However, by that month, Alstom had only delivered 80 cars.[11] Under the base contract, Alstom agreed to pay damages of $800 a day for late deliveries of four-car trains, and $1,000 a day for five-car trains. However, the Transit Authority had not yet fined Alstom for its late deliveries and was negotiating with Alstom to accelerate their delivery schedule. The 200 cars were delivered 7 months late in early April.

Delivery and post-delivery[edit]

The first train of R160A cars (#8713-8722) were delivered on July 22, 2005, and began its 30-day acceptance test on the N on August 17, 2006, after slightly over a year of successful testing.[12] This train was then transferred to the A on August 20 to continue with its 30-day performance test, which it passed on September 30, 2006, and all testing and acceptance was concluded.

On November 10, 2008, the MTA exercised options for 140 R160B cars (#9803-9942), and 242 R160A cars, broken down into 32 cars arranged as 4-car sets (#9943-9974) and 210 cars arranged in 5-car sets (#9593-9802).[13] These cars all feature Alstom traction.[14] The final cars were delivered on May 6, 2010.[9] By June 2010, all of the R160 cars were in active revenue service.

After Hurricane Sandy, R160B set #8738–8742 was damaged and required an extensive electrical reconstruction at Coney Island Shops. As of March 2016, it is undergoing pre-service testing and expected to return to revenue service in the second or third quarter of 2016. Two sets of R160As from East New York, #8313–8316 and #8377–8380, were set up as a test train, and have new CBTC equipment installed as specifications are developed for the future installation of CBTC on the IND Queens Boulevard Line. The train is often found on the IND Culver Line express tracks between Bergen Street and Church Avenue, which have been set up to test CBTC.[15]

Starting in May 2015, some four-car R160A sets were assigned to the C due to passenger complaints, with reliability and quality issues with the R32s on that route. By 2016, half of the C's fleet were R160As, leading to more reliable service along that route.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New York Subway Barn Assignments – June 12, 2016
  2. ^ Hughes, Murray (2003-01-01). "Subway contract won with help from Brazil". Railway Gazette International. 
  3. ^ "CIYT201122.jpg Photo by mediccjh | Photobucket". Smg.photobucket.com. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  4. ^ "MTA - Press Release - MTA Headquarters - MTA NYC Transit Awards New Car Contract". mta.info. 
  5. ^ a b Chan, Sewell (2005-11-30). "New Subway Cars Promise All Kinds of Information". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  6. ^ "Volume 2, Part 3 - November 2008 MTA Financial Plan: Section IV-3 and section IV-12" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2016-07-19. 
  7. ^ "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting June 2011" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. June 27, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-17. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  8. ^ MTA Press Release #24 2002
  9. ^ a b "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting February 2012" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 27, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  10. ^ Chan, Sewell (2005-07-27). "Damaged Cars Hinder New York's Order for New Subways". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  11. ^ Golding, Bruce (2007-09-30). "Train-Car Builder is Off Track". New York Post. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  12. ^ Lueck, Thomas J. (August 18, 2006). "City Subways Put New Cars Into Service as a Test Run". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "MTA Capital Program Commitments & Completions through December 31, 2010" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 24, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Alstom to supply an additional 242 subway cars to New York City". alstom.com. 10 November 2008. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. 
  15. ^ "New York City Subway Car Update" (PDF). The Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association (April 2016). March 30, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Review of the A and C Lines" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 11, 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 

External links[edit]

Media related to R160 (New York City Subway car) at Wikimedia Commons