R62 (New York City Subway car)

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R62 (New York City Subway car)
NYCS R62 front.jpg
An R62 train on the NYCS-bull-trans-3.svg leaves Sutter Avenue – Rutland Road.
Interior of R62 Subway.jpg
Interior of an R62 car.
In service 1983–present
Manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Built at Kobe, Japan
Replaced R12, R14, R15
Constructed 1983–1985
Number built 325
Number in service 315 (260 in revenue service during rush hours)
Number preserved 2
Number scrapped 8
Formation 5-car sets
Fleet numbers 1301–1625
Capacity 42 (seated-A car)
44 (seated-B car)
Operator(s) New York City Subway
Depot(s) 240th Street Yard, Livonia Yard[1]
Service(s) assigned NYCS-bull-trans-1.svg NYCS-bull-trans-3.svg
Car body construction Stainless steel with fiberglass end bonnets
Train length 510.4 feet (155.6 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 3.6458 ft (1.11 m)
Doors 6 per car
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 74,900 pounds (34,000 kg)
(Odd car)
74,540 pounds (33,810 kg)
(Even car)
Traction system General Electric SCM 17KG1924A1 Group as built, Currently Bombardier ECAM Groupswitch
General Electric 1257E1 motors
Power output 115 hp (85.8 kW) on all axles
Acceleration 2.5 mph/s (4.0 km/(h·s))
Electric system(s) 625 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Braking system(s) WABCO RT2 Braking System
WABCO Tread Brake Unit
Safety system(s) emergency brakes
Coupling system Westinghouse H2C
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The R62 is a New York City Subway car built between 1983 and 1985 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Kobe, Japan, serving the A Division (IRT). The R62 fleet is numbered 1301–1625, totaling to a number of 325 cars. Each car was purchased at an average price of US$918,293. The R62s were used to replace the remaining R12s, R14s and R15s in service.


In 1980, with the bus and train fleets in poor shape, the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) was looking into capital maintenance and bond acts to replace its aging fleet of R12s, R14s, R15s and many R17s; and to rebuild or renovate older late 1950s and early 1960s IRT type cars. The R62 order was originally proposed as an order of 260 64-foot (20 m) cars, but the selected plan called for 325 51.4-foot (15.7 m) IRT cars. The R62 contract was ordered on April 12, 1982, and awarded to Kawasaki of Japan. This was the first time a foreign company was chosen to build cars for the New York City Subway.


The R62 was the first stainless steel and air-conditioned subway car built for the "A" Division. They continued a controversial interior design by employing bucket seating, which was very narrow with each seat being about 17 inches (430 mm) wide. This reduced the number of seats per car when compared to standard bench seating, but had a higher capacity for standing. This design originated with the R44, and continued with the R62A, R68 and R68A cars and R110B prototype cars. They also feature exterior speakers for the benefit of passengers on the platform. Four cars in the order (1587–90) have prototype bench seating after complaints by passengers upon delivery.[2] Bucket seating is no longer used on the newest New York City Subway cars. The R62 has full-width cabs at the end of 5-car sets and the intermediate half-width cabs have been replaced with full-width cabs.

The first set of R62s were delivered in October 1983. The cars were built as "single" units, and remained as singles until 1991, when they were linked into 5-car sets to save money and equipment. They entered a 30-day testing program on the 4 on November 29. At that time, the new cars came as a great relief for IRT riders who were used to non-air conditioned and graffiti-filled trains. After several test runs in early 1984, the R62 cars entered regular service on the 4 on May 7, 1984. All 325 cars were in service by August 1985, making the 4 the first entirely graffiti-free service in the system in many years. Kawasaki did not want to build the additional cars the MTA wanted as a separate part of the R62 order, under contract R62A, for the same price. Bombardier, an Integrated Transportation rail car company headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, won a contract to supply these additional 825 cars under a license from Kawasaki. The R62s used to run on the 4; but they currently run on the 3 except for 20 R62s, which are in service on the 1.


Initial replacement of the R62s is scheduled for 2023 with additional replacements in 2026.[3] The MTA is proposing mid-life technological upgrades for the R62s, including LED destination signs and automated announcements.[4]


On August 28, 1991, a sleep-deprived and intoxicated motorman crashed a southbound 4 train north of the 14th Street – Union Square station in Manhattan. The train was diverted from the express track to the local due to repairs, and the motorman sped through the switch at 40 m.p.h.; as a result, the first car made the switch while several other cars in the consist did not. Five riders were killed and several dozen were injured. Cars 1435, 1436, 1437, 1439 and 1440, were wrecked in this accident, and are now all scrapped and off MTA property. The remaining five cars of the consist (cars 1431–1434 and 1438) are now unitized, with 1438 becoming an "A" (cab) car instead of a "B" (trailer) car.[5][6]

On December 21, 1994, disgruntled computer analyst Edward J. Leary firebombed a crowded 4 train at Fulton Street. Car 1391 suffered interior damage and was repaired and returned to service. A little more than three years later, however, on February 3, 1998, cars 1391–1395, while out of service, rear-ended another out-of-service train of R33s at the 239th Street Yard. All five cars suffered anticlimber damage, but were repaired and returned to service.

On October 25, 2000, during the 2000 World Series, a rear-end collision occurred at the Fordham Road station on the IRT Jerome Avenue Line in the Bronx.[7] Car 1369 and half of car 1370 was scrapped in 2005. Car 1366 and the undamaged half of car 1370 are at the FDNY Randall's Island training center. Cars 1367 and 1368 were reefed in February 2008.[8]

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]