R62A (New York City Subway car)

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"R62A" redirects here. For the road, see Route 62.
1 subway train (R62A) at 125th St station, Manhattan.jpg
An R62A train on the NYCS-bull-trans-1.svg at 125th Street.
R62A SMS Interior 2406 1 Train.JPG
Interior of an R62A car, with blue replacement seats as a part of an SMS program.
In service 1985–present
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation
Built at La Pocatière, Quebec; Auburn, New York; Barre, Vermont (final assembly)
Family name SMEE
Replaced R17, R21, R22
Constructed 1984–1987
Entered service May 29, 1985 (under CAP)
Number built 825
Number in service 824 (713 in revenue service during rush hours)
Number scrapped 1 (1909)
Formation 5-car sets (1651–1900, 1961–2475)
singles or 3-car sets (1901-1960)
Fleet numbers 1651-2475
Capacity 42 (A Car, full-width cab at one end)
44 (B Car, half-width cabs at both ends)
Operator(s) New York City Subway
Depot(s) 240th Street Yard (375 cars)
Corona Yard (34 cars)
Livonia Yard (20 cars)
Pelham Yard (395 cars)[1]
Service(s) assigned NYCS-bull-trans-1.svg – 310 cars (31 trains)
NYCS-bull-trans-6.svg – 360 cars (36 trains)
NYCS-bull-trans-7.svg – 22 cars (2 trains)
NYCS-bull-trans-S.svg – 10 cars (3 trains)
Car body construction Stainless steel with fiberglass end bonnets
Train length 3-car train: 153.12 feet (46.67 m)
4-car train: 204.16 feet (62.23 m)
10-car train: 510.4 feet (155.6 m)
11-car train: 561.44 feet (171.13 m)
Car length 51.04 feet (15.56 m)
Width 8.60 feet (2,621 mm)
Height 11.89 feet (3,624 mm)
Platform height 3.65 ft (1.11 m)
Doors 6 per car
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 75,550 lb (34,270 kg)
Traction system Adtranz E-Cam Propulsion with 4 Westinghouse 1447J motors per car
Power output 115 hp (85.8 kW) per axle
Acceleration 2.5 miles per hour per second (4.0 km/(h·s))
Deceleration 3.0 miles per hour per second (4.8 km/(h·s)) (Full Service)
3.2 miles per hour per second (5.1 km/(h·s)) (Emergency)
Auxiliaries SAFT NIFE PR80F Battery
SAFT SMT8 Battery
Electric system(s) 625 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Braking system(s) NYAB GSX23 Newtran “COBRA SMEE” Braking System
NYAB Tread Brake Unit
Safety system(s) emergency brakes
Coupling system Westinghouse H2C
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The R62A is a New York City Subway car built between 1984 and 1987 by Bombardier in La Pocatiere, Quebec, with final assembly done in Auburn, New York and Barre, Vermont under a license from Kawasaki. The R62As replaced the R17s, R21s, and R22s (built from 1954–1958), which were all retired by early 1988.[2][3][4]


The R62As are numbered 1651-2475. The cars were originally single cars with functioning cabs at both ends; however all running on the 1 (based at 240th Street Yard in the Bronx) and the 6 (based at the Westchester Yard in the Bronx) were linked as 5-car sets, with a full-width cab at each end, although the five-car sets do retain their intermediate half-width cabs in the remaining cab positions. This leaves the 7 (based at Corona Yard in Queens) with the only R62As that operate as single cars (mainly in the 1901-1960 range), in order to make 11-car trains.

Twenty cars (1927-1933, 1935-1937, 1940-1941, 1945-1946, 1950-1953, and 1955-1956) are reserved to run in service on the 42nd Street Shuttle, which uses three and four-car trains; ten of these are used at a time while the rest are stored at Livonia Yard in Brooklyn.[5]

The cars on the 6 and 7 feature LED lights on the sides of the cars around the rollsign where the service logo is indicated to help riders distinguish between an express train (red diamond) and a local train (green circle), clearly displaying whether a train is local or express. By contrast, the cars on the 1 and 42nd Street Shuttle have never been equipped with local/express indicators. These indicators were first introduced on the IRT Flushing Line when the passengers claimed they couldn't hear clearly the announcements regarding whether the 7 was express or local, even though the 7 Express sign was used on the front and sides prior to its implementation in 2008.[6] Cars 1736-1740 and 2151 were used as test cars as early as April 12, 2007, and had red LED lettering displaying "LCL" and "EXP" on the front and the side; similar labeling was last seen on the Redbird fleet.[7] [8] These lights remained as the R188s displaced the 7's R62As to the 6.


Following the successful delivery of the 325-car R62 order from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) put out a bid for an additional 825 cars. Kawasaki did not want to build the additional cars under a separate contract, so the R62A contract was awarded to Bombardier Transportation of Quebec, who won the bid over Budd Company of Pennsylvania.[2][3][4] While Bombardier offered a higher price per car than Budd had, the NYCTA awarded the contract to Bombardier because of the Canadian government's financial plan for the cars. In addition, Budd proposed using unapproved and untested motors, and similarly untested technology that frequently broke down on the R44 and R46 contracts.[2]

The 825 cars were built between 1984 and 1987 and entered service between 1985 and 1988, though in August 1985, several cars were frequently taken out of service due to coupler and electrical problems, which almost forced the cancellation of the entire order itself.[4] The first ten R62As, numbered 1651-1660, had their body shells built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and were shipped to Bombardier for their use as samples during their production. They were placed in service on the 1 train on May 29, 1985, after arrangements were made to expand the Car Appearance Program to the route (following successful implementation of the same on the 4 train with the R62s).


The first accident involving R62As happened in the summer of 1985 when 1687 was damaged in the Bombardier plant prior to delivery; this car was repaired and entered service on December 1, 1987, on the 6 train.

In 1989, 2256 collided with a revenue collection train at 103rd Street; this car was also repaired and eventually returned to service.

On November 24, 1996, a ten-car train of R62As on the 6 train derailed south of Hunts Point Avenue. Cars 1716 and 1909 were significantly damaged.[9] While 1716 was rebuilt and returned to service, 1909 was permanently retired due to damage to its body and frame, and scrapped in 2001.[10]


Initial replacement of the R62As is currently scheduled for 2026 through 2028.[11] The MTA has been maintaining the R62As through the SMS program, which consists of repainting bulkheads, rebuilding trucks, changing out floors, repainting damaged seats, and other minor interior work on a set schedule in order to extend useful service life.[12][13] There are proposals for mid-life technological upgrades for the R62As, including LED destination signs and automated announcements, though it is unlikely that these improvements will be carried out.[14]


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]