Rail News

Final Makeover for New York City’s MTA Brightliners Transit Subway Cars

New York City’s MTA is carrying out maintenance work on it’s R32 transit cars in a bid to keep them running smoothly until the new R179 cars are delivered in 2014.

The Budd-built cars were dubbed the “Brightliners” when they were bought by New York Transit in 1964 and put into service. The purchase of the 600-car fleet was the first large order of stainless steel, corrosion resistant cars placed into service since the ten experimental cars purchased in 1949 by the New York City Board of Transportation.

For the last half a century, the R32’s have operated on nearly every lettered line route on the subway and have held up remarkably well. Thanks to the combination of stainless-steel construction, efficient design and the efforts of New York City Transit’s subway car maintenance forces, they have served passengers admirably and still operate on the A and C lines.

R32 Subway Cars $25 Million Maintenance and Upgrades

However, the remaining 222 cars are having nearly $25 million dollars worth of maintenance and upgrades carried out on them including several major car components and system upgrades (air brakes, auxiliary electric, car body, couplers, car body hoses, door systems, propulsion systems), structural enhancements and the replacement of vandalised windows in order to improve the cars performance and reliability until the fleet of 300 new R179 cars begin arriving in 2014.

Carmen Bianco, Senior Vice President of the Department of Subways said “ The work currently being performed on these cars will help increase customer comfort and insure service reliability until their replacements arrive”.

The limited-scope maintenance makeover is being carried out at the Coney Island Overhaul Facility at a pace of four cars per week and is scheduled for substantial completion by the end of this year with air conditioning and structural improvements due to be finished in time for the beginning of next year’s hot weather.

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