R7/A (New York City Subway car)

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NYCS R7 golden letters.jpg
MTA NYC R7A 1575 interior.JPG
Interior of R7A car 1575
Manufacturer American Car and Foundry, Pullman Standard
Built at Chicago, Illinois, USA
Family name Arnines
  • R7: 1937
  • R7A: 1938
Entered service 1938-1939
Scrapped 1978-1979
Number built 250
  • 150 R7s
  • 100 R7As
Number preserved 2 (1 R7, 1 R7A)
Number scrapped 248 (149 R7s, 99 R7As)
Fleet numbers
  • R7: 1400-1549
  • R7A: 1550-1599 (Built by Pullman Standard)
    1600-1649 (Built by American Car Foundry) (motorized single units)
Capacity 56 (seated)
Operator(s) New York City Subway
Car body construction Riveted steel
Car length 60 feet 2 12 inches (18.35 m) over anticlimbers
Width 10 ft (3.05 m)
Height 12 feet 1 58 inches (3.70 m)
Platform height 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Doors 8
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 84,556 lb (38,354 kg) (ACF), 84,750 lb (38,440 kg) (Pullman), #1575: 82,340 lb (37,350 kg)
Traction system Westinghouse 570-D5 or General Electric 714-D1, 714-D2
Power output 190 hp (142 kW)
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Braking system(s) WABCO Schedule AMUE with UE-5 universal valve, ME-23 brake stand, and simplex clasp brake rigging. WABCO D-3-F air compressor
Coupling system WABCO H2A
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The R7 was a New York City Subway car built in 1937 for the city-operated Independent Subway System by two manufacturers under separate orders, the American Car and Foundry Company and Pullman Standard.


On March 5, 1937, the New York City Board of Transportation opened up bids for 150 cars to be built under the R7 contract–a continuation of the R6 fleet. The winning bid for $40,375 per car was jointly submitted by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF) and Pullman Standard. The Pressed Steel Company also submitted a bid, for $40,850 per car.[1] On July 27, 1937, it was announced that the winning bid for 100 additional cars, under contract R7A, went to ACF and Pullman for $41,951 per car. Additional bids were made by Pressed Steel ($42,200) and Bethlehem Steel ($43,100). The increased in price per car was attributed to strikes in the steel industry.[2] Together, these two orders provided additional cars for expanded service in Queens and for the opening of the IND Crosstown Line. The R7As were built in 1938.[3][4]

The R7s and R7As were used exclusively for service on the IND (later IND Division) until 1968–1969, when they were displaced by the new R40 and R42 cars, and were transferred to the East New York Yard of the BMT Eastern Division. They were used on the former BMT J, KK, LL, M, and QJ routes until 1977, when the R7s and R7As were retired, and replaced by the R46s.


R7A 1575 leading a holiday excursion train on the IND Sixth Avenue Line.

R7 car 1440 survives at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. It was modified with trolley poles and is used in various tourist rides around the museum, often coupled to R4 car 800.

R7A car 1575 has been preserved by the New York Transit Museum. It was restored to operating condition and has been used in excursions sponsored by the Transit Museum since June 8, 2003. During its service life, it was rebuilt from its original appearance by ACF in 1947 after an accident, and became the prototype for the R10, the first series of post-war city-owned subway cars built from 1948 to 1949. It was designed to test new interior and cosmetic features that would later be incorporated into the R10 fleet. While it cosmetically resembles an R10, mechanically and electrically it is still an R7A and can only operate with other prewar IND Arnines.


  1. ^ "Subway Car Bids Opened". The New York Times. March 6, 1937. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 29, 2017. 
  2. ^ "$41,951 FOR SUBWAY CAR; $1,575 Advance in Bid to City Is Laid to Steel Strike". The New York Times. July 28, 1937. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 29, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Independent Fleet". google.com. 
  4. ^ Cunningham, Joseph; DeHart, Leonard O. (1993). A History of the New York City Subway System. J. Schmidt, R. Giglio, and K. Lang. 

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