R68 (New York City Subway car)

Last updated
R68
NYCSubway2590.jpg
A R68 train on the D at Bay Parkway
R68 D train interior.jpg
Interior of an R68 car
In service1986-present
ManufacturerWestinghouse-Amrail Company (aka Francorail):
Westinghouse, ANF Industrie (all cars)
Jeumont Schneider (2500-2724)
Alsthom (2725-2924)
Family nameSMEE
Replaced
Constructed1986–1988
Entered service
  • April 13, 1986 (revenue service testing)
  • June 20, 1986
(official service)
Number built425
Number in service425 (360 in revenue service during rush hours)
Formation2500–2915 (416 cars) are linked into 4 car units
2916–2924 (9 cars) remain as single units with OPTO switches added
Fleet numbers2500–2924
Capacity70 (seated)
Operator(s) New York City Subway
Depot(s) Concourse Yard (268 cars)
Coney Island Yard(157 cars) [1]
Service(s) assigned NYCS-bull-trans-B-Std.svg  – 48 cars (6 trains, AM rush)
 – 40 cars (5 trains, PM rush)
NYCS-bull-trans-D-Std.svg  – 232 cars (29 trains, AM rush)
 – 224 cars (28 trains, PM rush)
NYCS-bull-trans-G-Std.svg  – 52 cars (13 trains)
NYCS-bull-trans-N-Std.svg NYCS-bull-trans-W-Std.svg  – 24 cars (3 trains)
NYCS-bull-trans-Q-Std.svg  – 8 cars (1 train, PM rush)
NYCS-bull-trans-S-Std.svg  – 4 cars (2 trains) [2]
Specifications
Car body constructionStainless steel with fiberglass end bonnets
Train length2 car train: 150 feet (46 m)
4 car train: 300 feet (91 m)
8 car train: 600 feet (180 m)
Car length74 ft 8.5 in (22.77 m) (over anticlimbers)
Width10 ft (3,048 mm) (over threshold)
Height12.08 ft (3,682 mm)
Platform height 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Doors8 sets of 50 inch wide side doors per car
Maximum speed55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight92,720 lb (42,057 kilograms)
Traction systemAdTranz E-Cam Propulsion with Westinghouse 1447J motors 115 hp (85.8 kW) on all axles
Prime mover(s) electric motor
Acceleration 2.5 mph/s (4.0 km/(h⋅s))
Deceleration 3.0 mph/s (4.8 km/(h⋅s)) (Full Service)
3.2 mph/s (5.1 km/(h⋅s)) (Emergency)
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Braking system(s) New York Air Braking (NYAB) GSX23 Newtran "SMEE" braking system, NYAB tread brake rigging model TBU190
Safety system(s) dead man's switch, tripcock
Coupling system Westinghouse H2C
Headlight typehalogen light bulbs
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The R68 is a B Division New York City Subway car order consisting of 425 cars built by the Westinghouse-Amrail Company (aka Francorail), a joint venture of Westinghouse, ANF Industrie, Jeumont Schneider, and Alsthom. The cars were built in France from 1986 to 1988 and shipped through New York Harbor. Of the cars in the fleet, 416 are arranged in four-car sets while the other nine are single cars.

Contents

The R68 was the third R-type contract to be built with 75-foot (22.86 m) cars (the previous two being the R44 and R46). The first R68 train entered service on June 20, 1986. The R68's manufacturers suffered from significant system integration problems, and the fleet became known as a "lemon" in its early years, but its performance was improved following modifications by the New York City Transit Authority. The R68s are scheduled to remain in service until at least 2025-2030. In the 2010s, a small number of R68s received experimental upgrades.

Description

The R68 was the third R-type contract to be built with 75-foot (22.86 m) cars (the previous two being the R44 and R46), which have more room for sitting and standing passengers per car than the 60-foot (18.29 m) cars that were used previously and afterward. Like the R44s and R46s which are also 75 feet long, they are prohibited from running on the BMT Eastern Division lines (J, L, M & Z trains) because of tight curves. This order was evolved from the R55, [3] a proposed car that was considered in the early 1980s, but never left the drawing board, or purchased due to a lack of funding. Instead, more attention was paid to replacing the R12, R14, R15, and R17 fleets of the A Division, which were over 30 years old and worn-out at the time.

The cars, numbered 2500–2924, cost about $1 million each. They replaced many R10s dating from 1948, all remaining 6300-series R16s dating from 1954 to 1955, and some R27s and R30s dating from 1960 to 1962. The cars are built with stainless steel, and are graffiti-resistant. [4]

The R68s are currently based in the Concourse Yard in the Bronx and the Coney Island Complex in Brooklyn and assigned to the B, D, G, N, Q, W and Franklin Avenue Shuttle. The R68s on the shuttle remain as single units with OPTO switches added while the rest of the fleet were reconfigured into sets of four.

History

On October 15, 1982, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced that it would purchase 225 cars from Westinghouse-Amrail. The cars were built in France from 1986 to 1988 and shipped through New York Harbor. The first of the 225 cars were initially scheduled to arrive in January 1985, with the entire order complete in May 1986. The projected cost of the order was $210 million, or about $933,000 per car. [4]

The delivery of the first R68 was made on February 4, 1986, but it failed to pass a sharp curve on the South Brooklyn Railway trackage on 38th Street in Brooklyn, and as a result the curve had to be rebuilt and the radius eased somewhat, and the delivery took place on February 26, 1986. The 30-day acceptance test for the R68s began on the Brighton Line on April 13, 1986. The R68s' first entry to revenue service was on June 20, 1986, on the Brooklyn half of the divided D train with the first fleet consisting of cars 2500–2507. [5] There were two contracts to supply the R68 fleet. The primary order consisted of cars 2500-2724 while the option order consisted of cars 2725-2924. The R68, therefore, became the first subway fleet to have an option order.

Initial problems

The R68's manufacturers suffered from significant system integration problems. Poor communication and coordination between the carbody builder (ANF Industrie) and the chassis assembler (Westinghouse) led to operational failures. Due to this, the R68s became known as a "lemon". During the beginning of service, the R68s had problems with malfunctioning doors, faulty wiring, electrical controls that suddenly lost power, and malfunctioning air brakes. In addition, the fleet had a high breakdown rate. [6] Another problem occurred on November 11, 1986, when a train of R68s failed to climb the grade on the Manhattan Bridge. However, extensive work performed by the New York City Transit Authority provided solutions to the fleet's many problems. [7]

The MTA was given a second option order of an additional 200 subway cars from Westinghouse-Amrail. However, due to problems from the manufacturer, the MTA awarded it to Kawasaki. [7] Westinghouse-Amrail offered to have the 200 cars built for $1,012,000 each, while Kawasaki agreed to have them built for $958,000 per car. This order became the R68A. [6]

Replacement and Mid-Life Upgrades

The R68s are scheduled to remain in service until at least 2025-2030. [8] In 2010, the MTA proposed mid-life technological upgrades for the R68s, including LED destination signs and automated announcements. [9] [10]

LED lights from CRRC (China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation) were tested on cars 2860–2867. LED lights, door chimes (similar to those on the R142, R142A and R179) and PA systems from SEPSA  [ it ] (Italian : Società per l'Esercizio di Pubblici Servizi Anonima; an Italian railroad company) were tested on 2892–2895. Public Address and Intercom, LED displays, LCD displays and CCTV as well as Train Operator displays from CSiT (CSinTrans Inc.) were tested on cars 2844 and 2846. Display screens from Melco were tested on cars 2804-2807. LED lights and surveillance cameras were tested on 2792-2795. [lower-alpha 1] Each program gave out the date and time and all retrofitted cars ran on the G. [11] However, none of the displays indicated the next stops along the routes. [12] All the upgrades were later removed, and it is unlikely that further technological improvements will be implemented in the near future. [9]

See also

Notes and references

Notes

  1. See also:

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R62 (New York City Subway car) class of 325 New York City Subway cars

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References

  1. http://web.archive.org/web/20191205124356/http://nyctrackbook.com/Images/Updates/P.xlii.pdf
  2. "Subdivision 'B' Car Assignments: Cars Required September 16, 2019" (PDF). The Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 62 (10): 16. October 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  3. "Roster Summary By Type" . Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  4. 1 2 Goldman, Ari L. (October 15, 1982). "FRENCH-U.S. CONCERN GRANTED M.T.A. PACT FOR 225 SUBWAY CARS". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  5. "www.nycsubway.org: The New York Transit Authority in the 1980s". www.nycsubway.org. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  6. 1 2 Levine, Richard (March 13, 1987). "M.T.A. PICKS NEW SUBWAY CARS FROM JAPAN OVER A CONSORTIUM". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  7. 1 2 Levine, Richard (February 24, 1987). "Transit Authority Is Critical of its Newest Subway Cars". New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  8. MTA Capital Program Oversight Committee Hearing, June 2010 (page 20) Archived 2010-11-25 at the Wayback Machine
  9. 1 2 Request For Information No. 9003 | Integrated Communications System on NYCT R62/R62A and R68/R68A Class Rail Cars
  10. Grynbaum, Michael M. (2011-06-16). "Transit Agency Weighs Digital Upgrade for Subway Cars". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2017-07-26.
  11. Rivoli, Dan (July 26, 2016). "G trains will be used to test new digital screens". New York Daily News . Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  12. "New Digital Signs on Some G Trains Will Display Date and Time". DNAinfo New York. Archived from the original on 2016-08-21. Retrieved 2016-07-29.

Further reading

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