MTA moves ahead with plans to buy up to 949 new subway cars with open gangway design

February 25, 2020

Images courtesy of MTA/Flickr

In an effort that has long been in the works, the MTA is making strides in the modernization of New York City’s antiquated subway system. Following the recent retirement of its Nixon-era R-42 trains on the J and Z lines, the agency announced today that it is in shopping mode for as many as 949 new subway cars with an open gangway configuration–shown in prototype renderings–for use on the Lexington Avenue line. The move comes as the agency prepares for a major resignaling project on the 4, 5, 6 lines and plans to retire its 30-year old R62 and R62A fleets.

Image courtesy of MTA/Flickr

The new cars are equipped for modern signaling, and as 6sqft previously reported, the “open-gangway” design, with accordion-like walls at the end of each car, is meant to increase passenger capacity by allowing for better movement and “customer flow.”

NYC Transit’s base order of 504 new cars will be the R262 class with an option of 445 additional cars and a second option to buy 415 more via the 2025-2029 Capital Plan. The agency is seeking competitive proposals as a means to assure the best value by considering a variety of factors.

According to a statement by the MTA, the specifications for the new cars will be based on those of the R211 subway cars, which are being designed for the subway’s lettered lines. The cars feature updated crash standards, state-of-the-art communications and signage and immediate compatibility with a modern signaling system.

nyc subway, mta, new subway cars, R262
Image courtesy of MTA/Flickr

Some elements will be unique to the R262, including an open gangway design that will be used on the numbered lines, and added hearing loops for hearing-impaired customers. When they are delivered, the cars will be headed for the Lexington Avenue 4, 5, 6 line, which is scheduled for an upgrade to modern computerized signaling. When the RFP process is complete, NYC Transit will head back to the MTA Board for approval of whoever is awarded the contract.

MTA Chief Operating Officer Mario Péloquin said, “We must pursue the next generation of subway cars now as we prepare to resignal the subway system so that we can deliver all the necessary elements–new signals, the new fleet, and new crew training–when we’re ready to implement. These next generation subways cars have proven not only successful but safe around the world and will be a gamechanger in New York. I’m excited because they are designed to quickly get people on and off trains and balance crowding, which gets New Yorkers to their destinations faster.”


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  1. Y

    ,I suggest you MTA to to start building now that way that way we have more reliable faster service on lines like 1, 2, 3,,4,5,and the 6 line because currently there’s not enough trains to get more faster service