R21 (New York City Subway car)

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NYCS R21 route sign.jpg
R21 car on the NYCS-bull-trans-5.svg.
In service 1956-1987
Manufacturer St. Louis Car Company
Built at St. Louis, Missouri
Constructed 1956-1957
Number built 250
Number in service (9 in work service)
Number preserved 2
Number scrapped 238 (+1 in storage)
Fleet numbers 7050-7174 (General Electric)
7175-7299 (Westinghouse)
Capacity 44 (seated)
Operator(s) New York City Transit Authority
Car body construction LAHT Carbon steel
Car length 51 ft 0.5 in (15.56 m)
Width 8 ft 9 in (2,667 mm)
Height 11 ft 10 in (3,607 mm)
Doors 6
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight General Electric cars:
77,607 lb (35,202 kg)
Westinghouse cars:
78,604 lb (35,654 kg)
Traction system Westinghouse 1447C or General Electric 1240A4
Power output 100 hp (75 kW) per traction motor
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Top running Contact shoe
Braking system(s) WABCO ME42A
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The R21 was a New York City Subway car built by St. Louis Car Company in 1956-1957. The R21 was similar to the R17, except that it featured windows of a slightly different design. The cab doors are mounted the same way as the newer R62/62A subway cars, however this was not repeated on the next order for R22 subway cars which reverted to the normally mounted cab doors. Two different propulsion system were used, Westinghouse (WH) and General Electric (GE).

The first set of R21s was placed in service on the 1 train on November 7, 1956.

Retirements and preservation[edit]

Former R21 car rebuilt for use in the film. After production, the car was donated to the New York Transit Museum.

The R62A fleet started replacing the R21s in the 1980s, and their final day in revenue service was on December 30, 1987.

The majority of the fleet was scrapped, but some R21s have been set aside for preservation over the years, including:

  • 7194, converted to R95 revenue collection car 0R714, and now preserved by the New York Transit Museum. This car is currently the only operating R21 on MTA property.[1]
  • 7203, rebuilt as the "money train" in the Columbia Pictures film Money Train, and given the car number designation 51050. This car is currently in storage at the Coney Island Complex.[2]

As of 2016, nine other R21s survive as work cars.

  • 7210, 7211, 7243, 7278, 7289, and 7296, converted to R123 continuous welded rail holder cars for set CCR and overhauled under the R128 program.[3]
  • 7055, converted to a R123 continuous welded rail holder car for set DCR and overhauled under the R128 program.
  • 7121, converted to R71 hose reach car P7121 and overhauled under the R159 program.[4]
  • 7287, converted to R71 de-icer car RD345 and overhauled under the R159 program. The car is currently located at the Westchester Yard.[5]

Car 7267 is currently at Concourse Yard coupled up to R17 6895 and is classified as a garbage motor. The mechanical condition of 7267 is unknown, and both cars have not been moved since 2002. In 2009, the car was stripped of parts, such as sash windows and roll signs. As of June 2016, 7267 along with R17 6895 are possibly awaiting scrap.[6]

Cars 7234, 7241, 7269, 7276, and 7287 were converted to R71 rider cars after retirement, but were replaced with R161s (R33s converted to rider cars) in the mid-2000s and eventually reefed.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ {{cite web|url=http://nycsubway.org/perl/show?75365 |title=Showing Image 75365 |publisher=Nycsubway.org |date=2007-10-06 |accessdate=2012-10-18}}
  2. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org. 
  3. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org. 
  4. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org. 
  5. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org. 
  6. ^ "Showing Image 3268". Nycsubway.org. 2002-03-15. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  7. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org. 

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