R40A (New York City Subway car)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"R40A" redirects here. For the road, see Route 40.
NYC Subway R40A 4444 R40M 4549.jpg
Slant-ended R40A (above) and straight-ended R40A (below).
New York City Subway Interior.jpg
Interior of a straight-ended R40A car.
Manufacturer St. Louis Car Company
Replaced many BMT AB Standards
Constructed 1968–1969
Refurbishment 1988–1989
Scrapped 2008-2010, 2013
Number built 200 (100 slant end & 100 straight end)
Number preserved 4
Number scrapped 196
Formation Married Pairs
Fleet numbers 4350-4449 (slant-ended)
4450-4549 (straight-ended)
(see article for details)
Capacity 44 (seated)
Operator(s) New York City Subway
Car body construction Stainless Steel sides with Carbon Steel chassis and underframes, Fiberglass A-end bonnet
Car length 60 ft (18.29 m)
Width 10 ft (3.05 m)
Height 12.08 ft (3.7 m)
Platform height 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Doors 8
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 77,695 lb (35,242 kg) (slant)
78,030 lb (35,394 kg)
Traction system General Electric (GE) SCM 17KG192AE2 propulsion system using GE 1257E1 motors (115 hp or 86 kW per axle)
Braking system(s) WABCO "SMEE" Braking System, A.S.F. simplex unit cylinder clasp (tread) brake
Safety system(s) emergency brakes
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The R40A was a New York City Subway car model built from 1968 to 1969 by the St. Louis Car Company in Missouri for the IND/BMT B Division. The order was a continuation of the R40 cars, and contained two forms or body types: a slant-ended version identical to the original R40 fleet designed by Raymond Loewy and Associates (nicknamed the R40 Slant or R40S), and a straight-ended (or "modified") version designed by Sundberg-Ferar (nicknamed the R40M).


Interior of a slanted R40A car.

The slant-ended R40As were originally numbered 4450-4549, and the straight-ended R40As were originally numbered 4250-4349; these cars were later renumbered to 4350-4449 and 4450-4549 respectively.

The R40As were delivered new with the same successful Stone Safety 10 ton air conditioning systems/units found on the last ten R38 cars, and became standard equipment on all future new cars purchased from this point onward. As a result of the air conditioning, the standee poles were arranged in an alternating pattern rather than the straight-line pattern seen in the older R40s.


Due to the cosmetic and mechanical similarities the straight-ended R40As and the R42s shared, the two fleets often ran together. In fact, one pair of cars consisted of a R40A car mated to a R42 car. This was the result of an accident on the Williamsburg Bridge in 1995, which involved R40As 4460-4461 and R42s 4664-4665. R42 4664 was written off while R40A 4461 was repaired and rebuilt into a slant-ended car (and temporarily numbered 4260),[1][2] leaving R40A 4460 and R42 4665 to become paired to each other.

In 1988–1989, the R40As were rebuilt by Sumitomo in Elmira Heights, New York. The interior was changed drastically and the MTA paint band was removed in all rebuilt cars.

Retirement and preservation[edit]

The R160 subway car order replaced all of the R40A fleet from 2007 to 2009. The slant-ended R40As were retired and reefed first, from late 2007 to June 12, 2009, when the last slant-ended train, consisting of R40A pairs 4414–4415, 4424–4425, 4432–4433, 4398–4399, and R40 4256–4257, made its final trip on the A. The straight-ended R40As were retired starting in January 2009 until August 28, 2009, when the last straight-ended pair, 4484–4485, ran on the V along with four R42 pairs.

After retirement, most cars were stripped and sunk as artificial reefs along the Atlantic coast. The last R40A cars to be removed from property by barge were straight-ended cars 4474-4475, which were reefed in April 2010. However, slant-ended pairs 4392-4393 and 4442-4443 were retained as school cars until April 2013 and October 2013, respectively. The cars were taken to Sims Metal Management to be scrapped, as the reefing program had ended in April 2010.[3][4]

All slant-ended R40As were eventually removed from MTA property, with the last few pairs being scrapped at Sims Metal Management in Newark, New Jersey in 2013 after being removed from school car service. However, some straight-ended R40As have been preserved, including:

  • 4460 (and its R42 mate 4665), preserved by the Railway Preservation Corporation and stored at Coney Island Yard.
  • 4461 (rebuilt into a slant-ended car), currently at the Randall's Island FDNY Facility, used with R62s 1366 and 1370 as training cars. The car was renumbered to 4260 for some time, before being renumbered back to 4461.[5][6]
  • 4480–4481, preserved by the New York Transit Museum. The cars are in need of restoration, and have not been seen ever since being transferred out of Concourse Yard.[7]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Sansone, Gene. Evolution of New York City subways: An illustrated history of New York City's transit cars, 1867-1997. New York Transit Museum Press, New York, 1997 ISBN 978-0-9637492-8-4


External links[edit]