New Technology Train
New Technology Train (NTT) is the collective term for the modern passenger fleet of the New York City Subway that has entered service since the turn of the 21st century. This includes the current R142, R142A, R143, R160, R179, and R188 models, and the planned R211 and R262 models. Two prototypes, the R110A and R110B, were used to test the features that would be found on all NTT trains today. Sometimes referred to as New Millennium Trains, they are known for improvements in technology, energy efficiency, reliability, and comfort along with advanced passenger information systems. Much of the engineering and construction efforts for the fleet have been done by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Bombardier Transportation. Alstom also helped to build some of the trains, specifically the R160A.
List of New Technology TrainsEdit
This is a list of all NTT trains operated by the New York City Subway, as well as future trains and retired trains.
- R142 – Built by Bombardier Transportation. The first production model of NTT trains ever built. Built for the A Division. Entered service on July 10, 2000. Assigned to the 2, 4 and 5 routes. The R142s are similar to the R142As and the R188s.
- R142A – Built by the Kawasaki Rail Car Company. The second model of NTT trains. Used by the A Division. Entered service on July 10, 2000, the same day the R142s entered service. 380 cars converted into R188s. 220 cars remain unconverted. Remaining 220 cars assigned to the 4 train. The R142As are similar to the R142s and nearly identical to the R188s.
- R143 – Built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The third model of NTTs, and the first model of NTTs for the B Division, assigned to the L. Entered service on February 12, 2002. Equipped with Communication Based Train Control, the first subway car to be equipped with this feature. The R143s are similar to the R160s and R179s.
- R160 – Built by Alstom and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Used by the B Division. The fourth model of NTT trains. There are two subtypes since these cars were built by two different manufacturers. R160As were built by Alstom, while R160Bs were built by Kawasaki. The R160Bs entered service on August 17, 2006, while the R160As entered service on October 17, 2006. Currently, R160As are assigned to the E, F, J/Z, L, M and Q routes, while R160Bs are assigned to the E, F, N, Q and W routes. Sixty-eight R160As have CBTC for the L. The R160s are similar to the R143s and R179s.
- R179 – Built by Bombardier Transportation. The sixth model of NTT trains. To be used by the B Division. The first car of the test train, numbered 3014, arrived at 207th Street Yard on September 6, 2016. 3010-3013 also arrived in September 2016. 3015-3019 was finally delivered in November 2016. 3010-3019, 3050-3069 & 3074-3149 are delivered as of October 2018[update], and delivery was expected to be completed by March 2019, but due to various manufacturing issues, the completion date was pushed back to mid-2019. Currently, the R179s are assigned to the J/Z, the A, and the C. The R179s entered service on December 27, 2017, and they are similar to the R160s and R143s.
- R188 – Built by the Kawasaki Rail Car Company. The fifth model of NTT trains. Used exclusively on the 7 route of the A Division, and thus is grouped in eleven-car trains. CBTC equipped. Consists of converted R142A cars and of identical new cars. Entered service on December 15, 2013. The R188s are similar to the R142s in addition to being nearly identical to the R142As.
- R211 – To be built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Will be used by the B Division, as well as the Staten Island Railway. 20 cars are open-gangway experimental prototype cars. Will possibly also have Wi-Fi, security cameras, digital video screens and electronic charging stations. The design of the R211 will be completely different compared to the design of the other NTT trains.
- R262 – Will be used by the A Division. Will replace the R62 and R62A fleet, and include open gangways, communications-based train control, and ethernet systems.:25
- R110A – Contract number was R130. Built by the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company and used mainly on the 2 route. Was a prototype train for the A Division that operated from 1993 to 1999. Used to test out new technology features that would be incorporated into the R142 car order. Was not intended for long-term production use. All B-cars of the set were converted into pump cars between 2013 and 2014. All A-cars to be converted.
- R110B – Contract number was R131. Built by Bombardier Transportation and used mainly on the A route. Also ran on the C route for final years in service. Was a prototype train for the B Division that operated from 1993 to 2000. Designed to test various new technology features that would eventually be incorporated into the R143 car order and was also not intended for long-term production use. Five cars were sent away, while four cars remain at 207th Street Yard.
The New Technology program emerged from modernization efforts by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) beginning in 1982, when the subway "was on the verge of collapse". The New Technology program officially began in 1988, the first effort at a technologically-advanced subway car since the R44 in the early 1970s. In 1989, the MTA awarded contracts for two prototype test trains: the R110A (contract R130) for the A Division built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, and the R110B (contract R131) for the B Division built by Bombardier Transportation. The two New Technology test trains (NTTTs) began service in June 1993, testing features that would be implemented on future mass-production orders. Both trains were taken out of service by 2000, due to multiple issues with the trains.
In 1997, the first mass order of New Technology trains was placed for the R142 and R142A trains of the A Division (awarded to Bombardier and Kawasaki respectively), in order to replace the final 1,410 Redbird cars in operation. In 1998, a smaller contract of 212 cars, consisting of 100 in the base order and 112 in the optional order, was awarded to Kawasaki Heavy Industries, to build the R143 model for the B Division's BMT Eastern Division (primarily the BMT Canarsie Line's L train). The first R142s and R142As entered service beginning in July 2000. The R143s began operation in February 2002.
In July 2002, the MTA awarded contracts to Kawasaki and Alstom Transportation for the R160 order for the B Division, with options for up to 1,700 cars to replace many 1960s- and 1970s-era cars. The first R160 train, built by Kawasaki under the contract R160B, began service on August 17, 2006, on the N. The initial 660-car base order was filled by October 2008, with a total of 1,662 cars delivered by May 6, 2010.
On May 5, 2010, Kawasaki was awarded the contract for the R188 A Division order, to provide 46 CBTC-ready 11-car trains for the IRT Flushing Line (7 and <7> trains). Unlike the other orders, the R188 constructed only 126 new subway cars, with the remaining 380 cars consisting of converted R142As.
On June 4, 2012, Bombardier was awarded the R179 contract for 300 new B Division cars, to replace the 50 R42s on the BMT Jamaica Line (J and Z trains). In December 2012, preliminary designs began on the R211 B Division contract, which entails 940 cars in order to expand the system fleet, and to replace the R46 fleet and the R44 fleet of the Staten Island Railway; both models were built in the 1970s. Both the R179 and R211 orders are planned to replace the 222 remaining R32 cars, which were built in the 1960s and have run well past their expected lives, by the year 2022. The first R188s entered service on November 9, 2013. The R179 order fell significantly behind schedule, with first test train delivered in September 2016.
On January 19, 2018, the MTA Board suggested that Kawasaki Rail Car Corp., a subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, be awarded the $3.7 billion base order for the first 535 new R211 cars. The cars are anticipated to be delivered from 2020 to 2023, with the option orders to be delivered by 2025. The R211 base order includes 20 R211T cars with open gangways; 75 R211S cars for the Staten Island Railway, to be delivered near the end of the base order; and 440 cars similar to the R143/R160 series, operating in five-car units. The cars will be assembled at Kawasaki's factories in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Yonkers, New York. The first test train is expected to be delivered in July 2020, with the production cars being delivered between 2021 and 2023.
Design and featuresEdit
The NTT models utilize a common car design; stainless-steel car bodies with a black front fascia on the "A" (cab) cars, open lexan-glass windows on non-cab ends allowing passengers to see through to the next car, and electronic outer route signs, as opposed to the rollsigns used by previous models. Improvements to the conductors' interface include the addition of speedometers as well as electronic consoles that monitor mechanical problems that may occur on the train. The cars feature a white fiberglass interior with blue-gray plastic bench seats both to combat vandalism, along with bright fluorescent lighting and LED interior passenger information signs. The bench-style seats, designed with lumbar supports, also replaced the unpopular bucket-style seats used on rolling stock built in the 1970s and '80s, which were both uncomfortable for passengers and hard to clean. The trains utilize an airbag suspension (replacing conventional springs) for a more comfortable ride, and employ regenerative braking which converts the energy from brake application into electricity that is fed back into the third rail.
All NTT trains are capable of being equipped with communications-based train control (CBTC) technology, which is installed in the "A" cars behind the train operator's cab. Currently, only the R143s and R188s, as well as sixty-eight R160As, have been upgraded for automated service, on the L and 7 routes. Many of the remaining R160s will also be retrofitted with CBTC, as well as all existing cars in the R142 and R142A fleets:23–25 and future cars in the R211 and R262 fleets.:23–25
The NTTs are the first rolling stock in the system to utilize pre-recorded train announcements, as opposed to live conductor announcements. The recorded announcements are used for station information, closing doors, and other general messages. Station announcements rely on a wheel-rotation counter to make accurate stop announcements. The recordings began in the late 1990s and feature Bloomberg Radio on-air speakers, who volunteered at the request of their employer Michael Bloomberg, who would later become mayor of New York City. Voices include Diane Thompson (for the 1, 2, and 3 trains), Melissa Kleiner (original voice of the 4 and 5 trains outside of Manhattan), Jessica Ettinger Gottesman (current voice for the 4, 5, and 6 trains), Annie Bergen (for the 7 train and 42nd Street Shuttle), Catherine Cowdery (for the B, D, E, G, J, L, M, N, Q, R, V (discontinued), W, and Z trains), Kathleen Campion (for the A, C, and F trains, as well as the Franklin Avenue Shuttle and Rockaway Park Shuttle), and Charlie Pellett (for other announcements). Since 2018, Velina Mitchell has also done some of the announcements formerly performed by Pellett, particularly informational messages.
Female voices are typically used for station, route, and transfer/connection announcements, although Pellett announces the majority of the transfers on the A Division instead of the female voices. Pellett's recordings are used for most of the remaining announcements, most notably "Stand clear of the closing doors, please" before train doors closing, but also for safety announcements such as "Please be careful of the gap between the platform and the train" prior to entering a station with curved platforms, and "If you see something, say something." With regards to why certain messages are voiced by males and others by females, MTA spokesperson Gene Sansone said in 2006, "Most of the orders are given by a male voice, while informational messages come from females. Even though this happened by accident, it is a lucky thing because a lot of psychologists agree that people are more receptive to orders from men and information from women." Manual announcements can still be made over the public address system by train operators and conductors.
Electronic strip mapsEdit
The R142s, R142As, R143s, and R188s feature electronic "strip maps." These maps utilize a total of 63 amber LED lights, numbered 001–063, to display stops, with a plastic card on top showing the route, stations, and transfers. A light will flash when a stop is being approached, and while idle at that stop. Lights turned off indicate a stop already reached, or a part of the route not serviced on that particular trip. LED arrows at either end of the map indicate the direction of service. Electronic strip maps were first tested on the R110A and R110B in the 1990s. While an upgrade from static route maps, most of the strip maps can only facilitate one service and must be turned off when a train is used on another route; this problem is common on the 2 and 5 trains, which both use R142 cars based from the East 180th Street and 239th Street Yards and have large amounts of route overlap on the IRT White Plains Road, Eastern Parkway, and Nostrand Avenue lines. To solve this problem, the MTA began replacing the individual strip maps for cars assigned to these lines in 2016, with combined strip maps showing both services.
The R160s and R179s, as well as the future R211s, employ an advanced alternative to strip maps, called the "Flexible Information and Notice Display," or "FIND." This includes an LCD screen displaying the route, route information, and advertisements, as well as a dynamic red, yellow, and green LED strip map that displays the next ten stations, plus five consecutive "further stops" to riders. There are three of these in every car. The display updates the stations at every stop, also giving the number of stops to each station listed. This allows for instant route or line changes with the correct information, which includes, but is not limited to, omitting certain stops (displayed as "Will not stop" in red).
The FIND systems used on the R179s are slightly different from those used on the R160s. The LCD displays where the route is displayed are slightly larger than those on the R160s. If the FIND has gone blank, the R179 FIND displays "Route change: this map is not in use", as opposed to the R160 FIND, which displays "Listen to train crew for announcement."
The FIND system for the R211 will have multiple changes. The screen will display a map similar to the strip maps on the R142s, R142As, R143s and R188s. It will have the ability to display more colors instead of just red, orange and green. When the train is at a station, two screens will be shown. The left side of the screen will display the station name, as well as the transfers and connections at that station (if there are any). The right side of the screen will show the stairs in the station and the train car the passenger is currently in (designated by the words “You are here”).
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