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

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by RWERN
I would suspect that it has quite a bit to do with the C trainsets being interchangeable with those serving the BMT Eastern Division. The BMT Eastern Division has shorter platforms along the routes requiring 8-car trainsets. My understanding is that R32 cars on the C are placed on the J/Z services during the summer. The reason is supposedly that since the J/Z run mostly aboveground, the risk of the old and unreliable air conditioning on the R32 cars failing is mitigated. I suppose the real constraint comes from the physical arrangement of the replacements: while the R32 cars are married pairs and could be shuffled to make 8-car or 10-car trains, the R160A cars from the BMT Eastern Division are 4-car sets which would be far more laborious to reconfigure.
  by Allan
jackintosh11 wrote:Why does the C train use 8 car 60 foot trains instead of 10 car trains?
I won't dispute the logic in the other answer (but then, when does logic come into play at the MTA?)

Some of it has to do with passenger load and passenger need. Some of the "experts" in the MTA determined that with the B train making local stops along Central Park West (between 14th St & 59th St) and the E train (10 cars) making local stops along 8th Av (from 50th St to Canal St) that there isn't a need for 10 car trains on the C. (BTW - there are only 3 local stops in Manhattan south of 59th St on the 8th Av line (50th St, 23rd St and Spring St).

In Brooklyn, it has been shown that a number of people who take the C along the stops on Fulton St tend to switch to the A express at Utica Av, Nostrand Av, & Broadway Junction so that an 8 car local train is sufficient to handle passenger load (as long as they run enough local trains). (note: People also tend to switch from the C local to the A express when they can in Manhattan).
  by Fan Railer
Because the passenger loading requirements for that service do not warrant using full length trains. It has nothing to do with rolling stock interchangeability.