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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by CP-4070
does anybody know of a book or website that gives information on what paint scheme was applied to what car in what year? Going back to the first subway cars?
Thanks a lot!
  by R36 Combine Coach
Here's a brief rundown of liveries for the postwar "SMEE" LAHT (carbon alloy painted) cars. Note all cars R32 and up (except R33 and R36) are stainless.


R10: factory livery grey with orange, small number painted red 1962, some painted World's Fair turquoise 1965-66, entire fleet MTA Silver & Blue in 1970s, 110 overhauled kale green in 1985

R16: 1955 factory livery olive drab (army green), some painted bright red 1968-69, MTA Silver & Blue in 1970s

R27/R30: same as R16s, all R30s and small number of R27s redone in Gunn Red 1985-89


R12/R14: same factory livery as R10s, some painted bright red 1965, MTA Silver & Blue in 1970s, some R14s painted white (1982-83)

R15: factory livery maroon with cream, then same as R12/R14

R17: factory livery maroon with cream, then same as R12/R14 to 1980s, small number (16) painted Gunn Red 1985-86 for shuttle service, one painted kale green 1985

R21/R22: same as R17s except olive drab (army green) factory livery. One R21 painted kale green 1985

R26/R28: same factory livery as R21/R22, later MTA Silver & Blue in 1970s and white (1983-84). Redone in Gunn Red when rebuilt at Morrison Knudsen (1985-87)

R29/R33/R36 ML: bright red factory livery with yellow grab irons (introduced on R29s), MTA Silver & Blue early 70s, white 1983-84, then redone as Gunn Red (1985-89). 12 R33s painted kale green (1985)

R33/R36 WF: delivered new with two-tone turquoise ("Blue Arrow") for World's Fair, some cars in MTA livery (mid 70s), all cars in white by 1983. First cars redone in Gunn Red (starting in autumn 1984)
  by Paul1705
I thought all the R-10s got the turquoise and white scheme but I'm going by what I remember seeing (mostly on the A train).

The olive drab/army green looked like black by the late 1960s. I didn't even know that was actually green until I read about it much later.

The R-1 through 9s looked like black too even though I assume they were actually green. By 1970 they appeared to have not been painted for quite a while; I wonder why the turquoise and white wasn't used on them too. Yes, they were old, but then the MTA painted some silver and blue which really was at a point when the expense wasn't worth it.

(I saw a photo of one of the pre-war cars painted turquoise and white for work or training use and it looked pretty good.)
  by JamesRR
New York City Subway Cars by James Clifford Greller is a fantastic resource book with photos from the beginning through around 1995 (I believe the R110A and Bs are the final cars featured in it). But it shows various paint schemes and great photos of trains in action, including during the graffiti days. Also features drawings and technical info about the cars. Might be out of print but search the used booksellers online.
  by Backshophoss
Might try the Transit Museum in Brooklyn,close to the Borough Hall station on 2,3,4,5,and R lines.
NYC Subway.org website