Page semi-protected

R160 (New York City Subway car)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

An R160B train on the F route
An R160 train on the F approaching Avenue P
Interior of an unrefurbished R160A car
Interior of an unrefurbished R160A car
In service2006–present
Built atSalzgitter, Lower Saxony, Germany and Yonkers, New York, United States
Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Kobe, Hyōgo, Japan
Family nameNew Technology Train
Entered service
  • R160A: October 17, 2006
  • R160B: August 17, 2006
Number built
  • R160A: 1,002
  • R160B: 660
  • Total: 1,662
Number in service1,662 (1,376 in revenue service during rush hours)
Formation93 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
Capacity54 seating, 198 standing (A car)
56 seating, 202 standing (B car)
Operator(s)New York City Subway
Depot(s)Coney Island Yard (90 cars)
East New York Yard (372 cars)
Jamaica Yard (1200 cars)[1]
Service(s) assigned
  • R160 (four-car sets):
    "J" train "Z" train –
    88 cars (11 trains, AM rush)
    80 cars (10 trains, PM rush)
    "L" train – 16 cars (2 trains)
    "M" train –
    192 cars (24 trains, AM rush)
    184 cars (23 trains, PM rush)[2]
  • R160 (five-car sets):
    "E" train – 260 cars (26 trains)
    "F" train – 460 cars (46 trains)
    "N" train "W" train – 100 cars (10 trains)
    "R" train – 290 cars (29 trains)[3]
Car body constructionStainless steel with fiberglass ends and rear bonnets
Train length4-car train: 240.84 ft (73.41 m)
5-car train: 301.05 ft (91.76 m)
8-car train (two 4-car sets): 481.68 ft (146.82 m)
10-car train (two 5-car sets): 602.1 ft (183.5 m)
Car length60.21 ft (18.35 m)
Width9.77 ft (2,978 mm)
Height12.13 ft (3,697 mm)
Floor height3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Platform height3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Entry3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Doors8 sets of 50-in-wide side doors per car
Maximum speed55 mph (89 km/h)[4]
Weight85,200 lb (38,600 kg)
Traction systemAlstom Onix 800 IGBT-VVVF AC traction motors, model: 4LCA1640A (8313–8842, 9103–9974)
Siemens SITRAC IGBT-VVVF AC traction motors, model: 1TB1710-1GA02 (8843–9102)
Prime mover(s)electric motor
Power output147.5 hp (110 kW) (Alstom) or
161 hp (120 kW) (Siemens)
per axle
All axles motorized[5][6][7]
Acceleration2.5 mph/s (4.0 km/(h⋅s))
Deceleration3.0 mph/s (4.8 km/(h⋅s))
(full service),
3.2 mph/s (5.1 km/(h⋅s))
AuxiliariesSAFT 250AH battery (B car)
Electric system(s)600 V DC Third rail
Current collection methodContact shoe
Braking system(s)Dynamic braking propulsion system; WABCO RT96 tread brake system
Safety system(s)dead man's switch, tripcock
Headlight typehalogen light bulb
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The R160 is a class of New Technology subway cars built for the New York City Subway B Division. Entering service between 2006 and 2010, they replaced all R38, R40/A, and NYCT-operated R44 cars, and most R32 and R42 cars. The R160s are very similar to the earlier R143s and later R179s, but the three car types cannot run together in the same train. The biggest difference between them is the Flexible Information and Notice Display (FIND) system on the R160s in place of static LED maps on the R143s and all A-Division New Technology fleet.

In total, 1,662 cars comprise the R160 class, which consists of two models, the 1,002 Alstom-built R160A cars and the 660 Kawasaki-built R160B cars. The R160A cars are further classified by the number of cars in a set, with the 372 R160A-1 cars arranged in four-car sets, while the 630 R160A-2 cars are arranged in five-car sets. All R160B cars are in five-car sets, but are subdivided by which propulsion system they use. Cars using the Alstom Onix propulsion system also found on the R160A cars are known as R160B-1 cars, while cars with Siemens SITRAC propulsion are known as R160B-2 cars.

Kawasaki had little to no problems in delivering the R160B cars, which entered service on August 17, 2006. Alstom was behind the delivery schedule early on for the R160As, which first ran on October 17, 2006. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority exercised options for both contracts, and by June 2010, all R160 cars were in service. Numerous experimental features were added to the R160s through the 2010s. 68 R160A cars were fitted with communications-based train control (CBTC) equipment installed for service on the Canarsie Line L, and the majority of the remaining fleet is planned to have CBTC equipment installed for service on the Queens Boulevard Line E, F, M, and R trains).


Front route display on an R160 in service on the W line
Front route display on an R160 in service on the W train
The R160 FIND system on a Coney Island-bound F train
The R160 FIND system on a Coney Island-bound F train

There are two versions of the R160: the R160A (built by Alstom, numbered 8313–8712, 9233–9802, & 9943–9974) and R160B (built by Kawasaki, numbered 8713–9232 & 9803–9942).[8] The two-car types are nearly identical to each other, and differ only in a few ways; they are interoperable and can be interchanged with each other. The R160As and the majority of the R160Bs utilize the same traction motors as the R142s, which are somewhat similar to the traction motors of the Alstom Metropolis 98B trains that are found on the Warsaw Metro.

The R160 cars are configured in either four-car sets or five-car sets. 372 R160A cars (8313–8652 & 9943–9974) are configured as four-car sets. All of the four-car sets are maintained at East New York Yard for the BMT Eastern Division (J/Z, L, and M). The remaining 630 R160A cars and all R160Bs are configured as five-car sets for use on other B Division services. Some are maintained at Jamaica Yard, typically operating on the E, F, and R, and the rest are maintained at the Coney Island Yard, typically operating on the N and W.

The R160A base order was part of a $961687,121 contract funded in part by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration.[9] 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 the 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 $2.0 million USD per car.[10]


Driver's cab of an R160 train

The R160s are very similar to the R143s and R179s; however, these car types are not interoperable with each other due to technical differences between the three.[11][12][13]

The R160s are equipped with regenerative braking, which allows the cars to capture the braking energy as trains enter a station and transfer it to trains on nearby tracks.[14]

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. The FIND system replaces a plastic card that 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 amber LED dot station indicators. This allows for instant route or line changes with the correct information, which includes, but is not limited to, the omitting of certain stops.[11]

Experimental features

The interior of R160 car 9800 on the E line. This car is equipped with experimental looped stanchions
The interior of R160 car 9800 with experimental looped stanchions
The interior of an R160 car, number unknown, with an experimental LCD screen
An experimental LCD screen in place of the Arts for Transit card

As part of a 2010 pilot program to increase security and capacity,[15][16] R160B cars 8713–8722 tested folding seats, CCTV, pivoted grabhandles, and looped stanchions. Following passenger complaints and Kawasaki's refusal to test the same equipment on a set of R142 cars, the program was canceled in 2012[17][18] and the equipment was removed. Some of the remaining grabhandles and folding seats from the program have been reused to address a state of emergency in 2017,[19] but have been the subject of vandalism.[20]

R160A cars 9798–9802 were equipped with looped stanchions and double the number of poles, the former feature which was first seen on R160Bs 8713–8722. These features were later added in several other R160 cars during refurbishment, as part of the 2017 state of emergency.[citation needed]

In 2016, a non-advertised pilot program saw 20 R160 trainsets based out of Jamaica Yard testing onboard WiFi.[21] [22] Also, in 2016, many cars had their Arts for Transit boards replaced with LCD information screens to display public safety announcements, advertisements, and trivia. These screens are similar to the ones onboard all R143 cars; however, they can display a range of colors instead of just red, orange, and green.

R160B cars 9928–9932 are equipped with LED headlights, which are planned to be included on the R211 cars.[a]

In 2018, R160A car 8395 had its truck suspension system replaced with carbon fiber reinforced plastic "efWING" leaf springs from Kawasaki, to determine the feasibility of them replacing the heavier coil spring suspension found on all other R160s. R160B car 9116 was also equipped with the new suspension.[b]

In September 2020, one set of R160s received digital display advertising as a pilot test. This is similar to the digital advertising found on the R188s.[23]

Communications-based train control

There are current and future use cases for communications-based train control with the R160 cars. 68 R160As (8313–8380) have CBTC equipment installed for use on the Canarsie Line L, alongside already-equipped R143 cars.[24][25] 1,486 additional R160 cars, including 5-car sets maintained at Coney Island Yard and 4-car sets maintained at East New York, are planned to be equipped with CBTC for use on the Queens Boulevard Line E, F, M, and R trains).[26][27] R160As 8313–8316 and 8377–8380 were temporarily taken out of service to test equipment between Bergen Street and Church Avenue on the express tracks of the IND Culver Line, and have returned to service with the equipment removed.



On July 31, 2002, it was announced that New York City Transit awarded a $961,687,121 contract to Alstom for 660 new cars, with two new options that could provide for a total of 1,040 cars. Kawasaki and Alstom organized a joint venture called Alskaw Inc. for project management, engineering, and equipment purchasing to pursue the contract, and to allow for operational compatibility with the R143s, which were built by Kawasaki.[28] 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 1002 R160A cars at its manufacturing plant in Hornell, New York, while Kawasaki assembled 660 R160B cars at its plant in Yonkers, New York.[29] 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.[30]


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 the 10-car test train, which arrived five months late with Alstom requesting three additional months to deliver the test train. In addition, the Transit Authority rejected several car shells made earlier at their plant in Lapa, Brazil, near São Paulo, after discovering welding defects.[31]

The first 5-car set of R160As (8653–8657) was delivered on November 29, 2005, and the next remaining five cars (8658–8662) were delivered on December 6, 2005, to the New York City Transit Authority, forming a complete 10-car train for acceptance testing and evaluation. The R160As entered revenue service on the A on October 17, 2006, for in-service acceptance testing after several months of exhaustive non-revenue service tests.

The first train of R160Bs (8713–8722) was delivered on July 22, 2005. The R160Bs entered revenue service on the N on August 17, 2006, for in-service acceptance testing after slightly over a year of successful non-revenue service tests.[32][33]

While Kawasaki had few or no problems in delivering the R160Bs, Alstom was behind on its delivery schedule early on in the R160A order. 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.[34] Under the base contract, Alstom agreed to pay damages of $800 a day for late deliveries of four-car trains, and $1000 a day for five-car trains, though the Transit Authority had not yet fined Alstom for its late deliveries and was actually negotiating with Alstom to accelerate their delivery schedule. The 200 cars were finally delivered 7 months late in early April 2008.

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).[35][36][37]

The option order cars were delivered starting in late 2009, and the final cars were delivered on May 6, 2010.[30] By June 2010, all R160A and R160B cars were in revenue service.[38]

Post-delivery incidents and refurbishments

Exterior of R160 subway train refurbished in 2017
An R160 with new exterior wrap
Interior of R160 subway train refurbished in 2017
Interior of a refurbished R160 with new interior wrap and features

After Hurricane Sandy, R160B set 8738–8742 was damaged and required an extensive electrical reconstruction at Coney Island Shops. In March 2016, the set underwent pre-service testing and finally returned to service in fall 2016.[39]

In response to the 2017 New York City transit crisis, the R160s have seen mass refurbishments. The majority of R160 cars have been given LED interior lighting, yellow-painted looped stanchions, traffic flow signage, and LCD information screens, and some have been deep-cleaned. Twenty 5-car train sets assigned to the E service were given a new exterior wrap to match upcoming rolling stock, as well as interior artwork, LED interior lighting, yellow-painted looped stanchions, arrows on the floors around the doorways, and LCD information screens. The seats at the end of the cars were also removed for extra capacity.[40][41][42] Some 4-car train sets assigned to the L service have been given the same new exterior wrap, LED interior lighting, yellow-painted looped stanchions, floor arrows, and LCD information screens (that replaced the art-for-transit cards), plus folding seats and pivoted grabhandles previously tested in 2010. Passengers sometimes vandalize the seats when they are locked in the up position during rush hours.[43]


Informational notes

  1. ^ See also:* TheTransitProductions (June 18, 2019), ᴴᴰ R160 LED Headlight Action on the F Line, retrieved March 19, 2020
  2. ^ See also:* DJ Hammers (March 24, 2018), ⁴ᴷ R160 efWING Truck Test Train at Euclid Avenue, retrieved March 30, 2018


  1. ^ "Car/Yard Assignments" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "Subdivision 'B' Car Assignments: Cars Required April 27, 2020" (PDF). The Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 63 (6): 14. June 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Subdivision 'B' Car Assignments: Cars Required April 27, 2020" (PDF). The Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 63 (6): 14. June 2020. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "New York City Transit Authority R160B". Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  5. ^ Hughes, Murray (January 1, 2003). "Subway contract won with help from Brazil". Railway Gazette International.
  6. ^ "CIYT201122.jpg Photo by mediccjh | Photobucket". Retrieved August 19, 2013.
  7. ^ R160B Siemens Traction Motor Build Plate
  8. ^ "Supplementary Information for §1269(d) 2012 – 2017" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2012. p. 30. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  9. ^ "MTA - Press Release - MTA Headquarters - MTA NYC Transit Awards New Car Contract".
  10. ^, p24
  11. ^ a b Chan, Sewell (November 30, 2005). "New Subway Cars Promise All Kinds of Information". The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2007.
  12. ^ "Specifications for Furnishing and Delivering Passenger Cars for the New York City Transit System" (PDF). July 2017. p. R160 1-2. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  13. ^ "Transit & Bus Committee Meeting May 2016" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  14. ^ "Greening Mass Transit & Metro Regions: The Final Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Sustainability and the MTA" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2009. p. 22. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  15. ^ "Camera- and flip seat-equipped train debuts on E". Second Ave. Sagas. February 22, 2010. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
  16. ^ "MTA New York City Transit Places into Service Camera-Equipped Train on the E Line". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 22, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  17. ^ "Transit scraps flip-seat pilot but other tests go on". Second Ave. Sagas. August 27, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  18. ^ "Seatless train experiment stalling out". Second Ave. Sagas. September 21, 2009. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "New NYC Subway Design Fail: Lockable Folding Seats - Core77". Core77. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  21. ^ Hawkins, Andrew J . (June 2, 2016). "The MTA is testing Wi-Fi inside its subway cars". The Verge. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  22. ^ Martinez, Jose (June 1, 2016). "Exclusive: MTA Quietly Begins Testing Wi-Fi Service in Subway Cars". TWC News. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Volume 2, Part 3 - November 2008 MTA Financial Plan: Section IV-3 and section IV-12" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  25. ^ "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting June 2011" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. June 27, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 17, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  26. ^ "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting 7/24/2017" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 24, 2017. p. 18. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  27. ^ "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting 7/20/2015" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 20, 2015. p. 39. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  28. ^ "MTA NYC Transit Awards New Car Contract". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 31, 2002. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  29. ^ MTA Press Release #24 2002
  30. ^ a b "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting February 2012" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 27, 2012. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  31. ^ Chan, Sewell (July 27, 2005). "Damaged Cars Hinder New York's Order for New Subways". New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
  32. ^ Lueck, Thomas J. (August 18, 2006). "City Subways Put New Cars Into Service as a Test Run". The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  33. ^ "Facts and Figures". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  34. ^ Golding, Bruce (September 30, 2007). "Train-Car Builder is Off Track". New York Post. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
  35. ^ "MTA Capital Program Commitments & Completions through December 31 2010" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 24, 2011. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  36. ^ "Alstom to supply an additional 242 subway cars to New York City". November 10, 2008. Archived from the original on February 5, 2009.
  37. ^ "New Technology Train Rolled Out This Morning Along the E Line". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 22, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  38. ^ "MTA NYC Transit Takes Delivery of Final Set of New Subway Cars". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 22, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  39. ^ "New York City Subway Car Update" (PDF). The Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association (April 2016). March 30, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  40. ^ Chung, Jen (October 3, 2017). "Photos: Step Inside The MTA's New Subway Cars, Now With Less Seating". Gothamist. Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  41. ^ Furfaro, Danielle (October 3, 2017). "MTA removes seats from E train cars". New York Post. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  42. ^ "news - Subway Action Plan Update: New Subway Cars on E Line". MTA. October 3, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  43. ^ Rivoli, Dan (October 5, 2017). "MTA to add more space on L line by retrofitting train cars". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 9, 2017.

External links