R1 (New York City Subway car)

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For the proposed subway line in Beijing, see Line R1, Beijing Subway.
R1 (New York City Subway car)
NYC Subway R1 100.jpg
R1 #100 in special holiday service, December 2007, on the V train at 23rd Street on the IND Sixth Avenue Line
In service 1931-1970
Manufacturer American Car and Foundry Company
Built at Berwick, Pennsylvania
Constructed 1930–1931
Scrapped 1969-1970
Number built 300
Number preserved 4
Number scrapped 296
Formation motorized single units (Half-width operator's cab at each end; conductor controls on exterior)
Fleet numbers 100–399
Capacity 56 seats
Operator(s) Independent Subway System
New York City Transit Authority
Car body construction Riveted steel
Car length 60 ft 6 in (18.44 m)
Width 10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)
Height 12 ft 1.9375 in (3.71 m)
Floor height 3 ft 1.875 in (0.96 m)
Doors 8
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 84,081 lb (38,139 kg)
Traction system Westinghouse ABF type UP143B switch group, with XM-29 master controller using Westinghouse 570 D-5 traction motors (190 hp each). Two motors per car (both on motor truck, trailer truck not motorized).
Power output 190 hp (142 kW) per traction motor
Acceleration 1.75 mph/s (2.82 km/(h·s))
Deceleration ~1mph/s
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe (Top running)
Braking system(s)

WABCO Schedule AMUE with UE-5 universal valve, ME-23 brake stand, and simplex clasp brake rigging.

(Air Compressor: WABCO D-3-F)
Coupling system WABCO H2A
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The R1 was the first New York City Subway car type built for the IND. 300 cars were manufactured between 1930 and 1931 by the American Car and Foundry Company, numbered 100 through 399. Future passenger stock orders – including contracts R4, R6, R7, R7A, and R9 – were virtually identical, with minor mechanical and cosmetic variations. Therefore, these car classes are frequently referred to collectively as Arnines, or R1-9s.

The R1s were also specifically sometimes referred to as City Cars.

They introduced several improvements to subway car design that greatly sped up the flow of passengers in and out of trains.


R1 #100 leading train in special service on the IND Rockaway Line for the restoration of service to the Rockaways in 2013.

The first R1 cars to see passenger service were twenty individual cars to serve for two 8 car trains plus spares that were placed in revenue service on the BMT Sea Beach Line from July to November, 1931 for testing and then returned to the IND the same year.[1] The BMT was to have been paid by the City of New York for the testing but since they were fairly extensively used in service (made up as two 8-car trains), the BMT and City called it even.

In 1949 when all of the R10 cars were delivered and placed in service on the A line, approximately 224 of these R1 cars were transferred to the 36th Street Yard of the BMT Southern Division to relieve a car shortage on the BMT Lines, and used for service on the BMT # 2 (now R) Broadway 4th Avenue Local service, which was extended from Queensboro Plaza to the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. Station of this former IRT line, which also happened in 1949 which required more cars for operating this new extended BMT service until 1961 when new R27/30's cars were delivered to the New York City Transit System's BMT Lines, which in turn replaced and released these loaned R1 cars to be sent back to the IND Division.

Most R1s were retired between 1969 and 1970, as age decayed the cars' internal components, and they performed worse than their newer contemporaries. Many were replaced by the R42s, but some remained past 1970 until those cars were retired and replaced by the R44s. Following their removal from service, the majority of the fleet was scrapped. Few cars remained as work cars and were used until the 1980s. However, only one usable car originally numbered 369, was salvaged and renumbered to R4 #576 in 1969, and again renumbered to R9 #1768 in 1972, and was transferred to the East New York Yard of the Eastern Division, and was used on the former BMT J, KK, LL, M, and QJ routes until February 1977 when it was finally retired, and replaced by the R46's. Several other cars have been preserved and remain today, including:

  • Car #100 has been restored and is on display at the New York Transit Museum. It is the first car of the Arnine fleet, numerically.
  • Car #103 has been preserved by Railway Preservation Corp. and is currently undergoing restoration at 207th Street Yard.
  • Car #381 has been preserved by Railway Preservation Corp. and has been restored. It is currently stored at 207th Street Yard.

Car 175 is at the Seashore Trolley Museum, but is used only for storage. It does not have trucks, and two of its side doors were donated to R4 #401 which has been preserved by Railway Preservation Corp. and restored.


The R1s were the first "R" type contract order (referring to the practice of naming a car class by the letter "R" - which stands for revenue - followed by a number derived from the actual contract number). Note: The R2 contract order was for trucks and motors for the R1 fleet. In 1930, each new car cost $39,201: $30,483 for the carbody under contract R1, and $8,718 for trucks and motors under contract R2.


  1. ^ "Showing Image 47727". nycsubway.org. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Gene Sansone, New York Subways: An Illustrated History of New York City's Transit Cars, ISBN 0-8018-7922-1, pp. 179 - 189