NYC Subway cars taking the plunge

Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

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steveh
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:22 pm

NYC Subway cars taking the plunge

Post by steveh » Sun Mar 28, 2004 5:16 pm

Watched a documentary on the Sundance channel yesterday in which 30 (yes 30!) older New York City subway cars were sumarily shoved off a barge with a backhoe into the outer harbor. The cars were being disposed of to create an artificial reef.

I think some of these cars have been preserved, but it was quite startling to watch them meet their end that way. Anyone else see it?

Komachi
Posts: 1195
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:26 am
Location: Minnesota, USA

Redbird Reefs!

Post by Komachi » Mon Apr 26, 2004 1:12 am

Steve,

I didn't see the Sundance documentary, but I've heard/read about it elsewhere. IIRC, it was a batch of "Redbirds" (not sure what the exact model designation is) that were sent to the bottom to create the reef.

I can't say if any have been saved in museums, but I would think at least ONE of that type of car was set aside for preservation purposes (hey, I'm a historian... I like to see things preserved in museums!). I can only hope that more were saved, however, I also feel that they are meeting a more fitting end becoming a reef (new habitat for fish and other marine life and recreational destinations for SCUBA enthusiests) than being uncerimoniously cut up for scrap.

chuchubob
Posts: 6084
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:55 pm
Location: South Jersey

preserved Redbirds

Post by chuchubob » Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:15 am

Yes, Redbirds have been preserved. Several are in use in work trains, and others have been preserved by the TA as museum cars, which are used from time to time on chartered trips.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/992 ... 7685qypTfJ

http://community.webshots.com/photo/992 ... 5982MJajqW

http://community.webshots.com/photo/992 ... 4961SzrVLS

Bob

7 Train

Post by 7 Train » Thu May 13, 2004 7:07 pm

The Redbirds are models R26, 28, 29, 33, 36.

Some of the oldest Redbirds (R26's) dated back to 1957. The R36 models were introduced in 1964 for service on the 7 Train to the World's Fair.

Here a rundown on preserved Redbirds:

R26: 2 pairs
R28: 1 pair
R29: 6 cars
R33ML: 58 cars, active roster, "Reserve" fleet
R33WF: 39 cars
R36ML: 1 pairs
R36WF: 2 trainsets (c. +/- 20 cars)
Last edited by 7 Train on Fri May 14, 2004 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Robert Paniagua
Posts: 4431
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:11 am
Location: Weymouth, MA 02188

Post by Robert Paniagua » Fri May 14, 2004 5:56 am

Oh good, I'm glad a handful of them are still around.

However, the R17's (circular bulkhead door window) were also Redbirds and they would be the oldest, built in 1955. But my favourite redbirds are the R33ML and WF, and the R36 ML-WF, both built 1963-4, I like the newest Redbirds.
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations

7 Train

Post by 7 Train » Fri May 14, 2004 6:06 pm

True railfans would not consider the R17 as a Redbird, as it was not rebuilt in the GOH program of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The reasons why some R17's were red is because they were painted (c. 1986) to match the other IRT ML cars. The R17 was like the R21 & 22, a single unit 'SMEE' car dating from the mid 1950s that was not rebuilt because it was too costly since they were single and had no A/C. All single-unit SMEE's were retired by early 1988.

GP38
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:33 pm

Post by GP38 » Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:10 pm

There are some great photos of how the underwater "reefs" are doing over at nycsubway.org. It shows the Redbirds underwater, and it is so interesting to see them in their "new home".

Here's the link:
http://www.nycsubway.org/cars/redbird-scrap.html

dth9269
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:22 pm

Re: NYC Subway cars taking the plunge

Post by dth9269 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:38 pm

I came across the following photo essay in The Atlantic on the topic of artificial reefs...in addition to the Redbird trains (slides 15 & 16), it shows a number of newer NYC trains making a splash (slides 24-26).

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2011 ... ld/100042/

Dan

jonnhrr
Posts: 1175
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Sabattus ME USA

Re: NYC Subway cars taking the plunge

Post by jonnhrr » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:07 am

Avatar Photo - P&W local from Gardner to Worcester at Morgan Rd., Hubbardston

railfan365
Posts: 613
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:55 am

Re:

Post by railfan365 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:48 pm

7 Train wrote:True railfans would not consider the R17 as a Redbird, as it was not rebuilt in the GOH program of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The reasons why some R17's were red is because they were painted (c. 1986) to match the other IRT ML cars. The R17 was like the R21 & 22, a single unit 'SMEE' car dating from the mid 1950s that was not rebuilt because it was too costly since they were single and had no A/C. All single-unit SMEE's were retired by early 1988.
FYI, the R-10's servived into the fall of 1989 (presuming that your comments were meant to cover B division cars).

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