R68A (New York City Subway car)

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"R68A" redirects here. For the road, see Route 68.
R68A (New York City Subway car)
R68A B train.JPG
An R68A train on the NYCS-bull-trans-B.svg at Kings Highway.
In service 1988-present
Manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industries
Built at Kobe, Japan
Replaced All remaining R10s and R27s, and some R30s.
Constructed 1988-1989
Number built 200
Number in service 200 (152 in revenue service during rush hours)
Formation Stainless steel with fiberglass end bonnets
Fleet numbers 5001-5200
Capacity 70 (seated)
Operator New York City Subway
Depot(s) Coney Island Yard[1]
Service(s) assigned NYCS-bull-trans-A.svg NYCS-bull-trans-B.svg
Car body construction stainless steel with fiberglass end bonnets
Train length 4 car train: 300 feet (91 m)
8 car train: 600 feet (180 m)
Car length 75 ft (22.86 m)
Width 10 ft (3,048 mm)
Height 12.08 ft (3,682 mm)
Platform height 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Doors 8
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 92,720 lb (42,057 kg)
Traction system AdTranz E-Cam Propulsion with Westinghouse 1447J motors
(115 hp or 85.8 kW on all axles)
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Braking system(s) WABCO (dynamic and friction), WABCO tread brake rigging model TBU GR90
Safety system(s) emergency brakes
Coupling system Westinghouse H2C
Headlight type halogen light bulbs
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

R68A is a class of B Division New York City Subway cars that were built in Kobe, Japan by Kawasaki Rail Car Company from 1988 to 1989.


There were 200 R68A cars built from 1988 to 1989. They first entered into service on May 18, 1988 on the Bronx and Manhattan half of the divided D train. They replaced the last R10s, R27s, and unrebuilt R30s all of which were retired between 1989 and 1991.

The R68A was probably the last R-type contract to be built with 75-foot (22.86 m) cars, which have more room for sitting and standing passengers per car than the 60-foot (18.29 m) cars that were used previously. However, because 75-foot (22.86 m) cars take longer to load and unload due to less doors for the entire train, increasing the dwell times at stations, and other clearance issues, and cannot run on the entire "B" division (in particular the BMT Eastern Division), along with the issue with locked-end doors. Orders made afterward (R143, R160A/B, R179, and eventually R211) have returned to the former IND style of 60-foot (18.29 m) cars which can run safely on the entire "B" division.

R68As are currently based out of the Coney Island Yard and assigned to the B, with one set assigned to the A. They are scheduled to remain in service until at least 2025[2] and the MTA is proposing mid-life technological upgrades for the fleet, including LED destination signs and automated announcements.

Differences between R68s and R68As[edit]

  • The door to the operator's cab slides open on an R68A as opposed to swinging open on an R68.
  • The R68 and R68A fleets have different window frames.
  • Unlike the R68s, the R68As do not feature rims around the red door indicator lights.
  • The "MTA New York City Subway" logos are arranged differently between the two car types.
  • The side ribbing runs all the way to the car ends and side doors on an R68, but taper off on approach on an R68A.
  • Only the R68s have a metal bar separating the side sign from window, while the R68A has one solid pane of glass.
  • The R68s have unit numbers in the 2000-series while the R68As have numbers in the 5000-series.
  • Door lights at the car ends of the R68A, by the storm door, point down to the seat, while on the R68s, they point towards the other end of the car.

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]