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NYCT: All 1,662 R160 cars are in service

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

MTA New York City Transit announced that the final units of a 1,662-RF160 car order have now been delivered by the joint venture of Alstom and Kawasaki and are in service on the system’s lettered lines. The high-tech cars were unloaded from flatbed trucks in May and rolled into the 207th Street Maintenance Facility. They were moving riders along the system’s lettered lines about a month later.


The cars were funded in the New York MTA’s 2005-2009Capital Program with money provided by the Federal Transit Administration.Deliveries began began nearly five years ago and since then, said NYCT, “the fleet has earned a reputation for high reliability, recently operating an average of more than 370,000 miles between mechanical failures.”

The new cars have digital information boards and the Flexible Information Notice Display (FIND) system, which incorporates a video screen, scrolling station names as the train progresses, and a route map that can be changed if a train switches to another line. Like the R142 cars that have been in service since late 2000 on the numbered lines, the R160s have an advanced heating and cooling system designed to be easier to maintain than the units in older cars.

Operating ad maintenance features include computer-monitored throttles and speedometers for better control and smoother ride and an onboard, computerized diagnostic system that allows quicker repair when a failure does occur.

Now retired are 1,500 subway cars in service more than 40 years. Most of these cars have been stripped, cleaned, and placed on the Atlantic seafloor where they joined more than 1,000 redbirds as artificial reef material. A few have ended up as exhibits in the MTA’s New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn.