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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by granton junction
At some point the R-32s will be history. For many of us the R-32 has been the favorite subway car of the modern era. I know that there are many issues involved, but does anybody see a possibility for some R-32 fantrips? Over the years subway fantrips have been fun and even educational. But after 2004 the hard core fantrips (as opposed to the 'Nostalgia Specials') abruptly stopped. Again there may be factors that I am not aware of, but I do miss the subway fantrips.
  by R36 Combine Coach
The R32s have ran every BMT and IND route that has existed during their lifetime (exempt the old Myrtle el south of Broadway closed in 1969). The only BMT route they have yet to run on is the #7 east of Queensboro Plaza (which was BMT joint service with IRT until 1949).
  by L'mont
chuchubob wrote:Each time I visit NY, I do my own R32 railfanning. Yesterday I did it again.
Can we have some time to wave adios to the R-32. Ride them everyday and you'll be reluctant to ask for a fan trip.
  by R36 Combine Coach
They'll still be around for a while.
  by Fan Railer
R36 Combine Coach wrote:They'll still be around for a while.
yeah, ask for them in 2020... :P
  by railfan365
Don't get sentimental about our R-32's yet - and do be ready to have them in regular service for at least 5 years more. As of recently, it's definite that the last 240 R-32's and the last 64 R-42's are going to stay in service until the R-179's start to go online during or after 2015 while the R-44's are being scrapped presently due to structural issues.
  by R36 Combine Coach
It'd be interesting to see R32s on Staten Island, if the R44s were somehow retired.
  by railfan365
R36 Combine Coach wrote:It'd be interesting to see R32s on Staten Island, if the R44s were somehow retired.
As discussed elsewhere in this and other forums, the SIR R-44's are separate cars with traditional railroad couplers, due to FRA regulations. The NYC TA R-44's were converted several years ago to permanent 4 car groups with an automatic coupler at each end and a linkbar between cars within a group. Most NYC TA cars are either married pairs or groups. That's what I think will make the next generation of cars on Staten Island an interesting selection. (The exceptions are some of the R-62's which are too narrow for SIR, and 9 R-68's which are dedicated to the Franklin Avenue Shuttle and too few in number for this discussion).
  by R36 Combine Coach
The only single unit cars left at NYCT are the R62A 1901-2155 on the 7, the last 9 R68s on the Franklin Shuttle and the SIR R44s (single ended single "A" units). All other R62/62A/68/68As were converted into linked sets in the 1990s.
  by BobLI
Why were the cars converted to link sets? Wouldn't it be easier to fix 1 car thats not coupled instead of taking 4 cars out of service for maintenance?
  by railfan365
BobLI wrote:Why were the cars converted to link sets? Wouldn't it be easier to fix 1 car thats not coupled instead of taking 4 cars out of service for maintenance?
You're right - It would be easier to take one car out of service than a whole set. However, some pencilnecks got the idea that by making permanent sets, they could save money by not maintaining as many automatic couplers, air compressors, main brake valves, and driving controls.
  by R36 Combine Coach
In the 1960s the policy was toward two-car pairs, then followed by linked "A-B-B-A" sets with the R44/R46 in the 1970s. The R62/R68s made a return to single car units, made in part by deferred maintenance and poor performance during the late 1970s and 80s. Since the 1990s, increased reliability has resulted in a return to linked sets, with lower costs.
  by Head-end View
I always thought married pairs were the best. (like the LIRR and MN MU's) They provide some economy combined with reasonable versatility. During the 1980's the TA went back to single units, I believe during David Gunn's administration. He was a back-to-basics kind of guy. So I guess that's the way he saw as most reliable, etc. I think you can probably make a case for any of the arrangements discussed above, but again I like married-pairs the best. :-)

BTW, I'm surprised to hear they're scrapping some R-44's. Imagine, the first full-width cab cars being scrapped already. (Chuckle!) I still remember my first ride on an R-44 in about 1974 on the A-train, I think. I'd had no idea they were going to have wide-cabs that we couldn't see out of. I was so puzzled on that first ride, blankly staring at the cab door. :(
  by R36 Combine Coach
Another advantage of single units is that they are practical for work service, compared to multicar linked sets. R17/21/22s which make many work cars were all single unit cars and the World's Fair R33 single units are used as well. However "paired" Main Line R33s and some World's Fair R36s can also be found in work duty as well.