R160 (New York City Subway car)
The R160 is a class of New Technology subway cars built for the New York City Subway B Division. Entering service between 2006 and 2010, they replaced all R38, R40/A, and NYCT-operated R44 cars, and most R32 and R42 cars. The R160s are very similar to the R143s, but the two-car types cannot run together in the same train. The biggest difference between them is the FIND (Flexible Information and Notice Display) system on the R160s in place of static LED maps on the R143s.
Interior of an unrefurbished R160A car
|Built at||Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, Germany,
and Yonkers, New York, United States|
Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Kobe, Hyōgo, Japan
|Family name||New Technology Train|
|Number in service||1,662 (1,376 in revenue service during rush hours)|
|Formation||93 four-car sets (two B cars)|
258 five-car sets (three B cars)
|Capacity||54 seating, 198 standing (A car)|
56 seating, 202 standing (B car)
|Operator(s)||New York City Subway|
|Depot(s)||Coney Island Yard (90 cars)|
East New York Yard (372 cars)
Jamaica Yard (1200 cars)
|Car body construction||Stainless steel with fiberglass ends and rear bonnets|
|Train length||4-car train: 240.84 ft (73.41 m)|
5-car train: 301.05 ft (91.76 m)
8-car train (two 4-car sets): 481.68 ft (146.82 m)
10-car train (two 5-car sets): 602.1 ft (183.5 m)
|Car length||60.21 ft (18.35 m)|
|Width||9.77 ft (2,978 mm)|
|Height||12.13 ft (3,697 mm)|
|Floor height||3.76 ft (1.15 m)|
|Platform height||3.76 ft (1.15 m)|
|Entry||3.76 ft (1.15 m)|
|Doors||8 sets of 50-in-wide side doors per car|
|Maximum speed||55 mph (89 km/h)|
|Weight||85,200 lb (38,600 kg)|
|Traction system||Alstom Onix 800 IGBT-VVVF AC traction motors, model: 4LCA1640A (8313-8842, 9103-9974)|
Siemens SITRAC IGBT-VVVF AC traction motors, model: 1TB1710-1GA02 (8843-9102)
|Prime mover(s)||electric motor|
|Power output||147.5 hp (110 kW) (Alstom) or|
161 hp (120 kW) (Siemens)
All axles motorized
|Acceleration||2.5 mph/s (4.0 km/(h⋅s))|
|Deceleration||3.0 mph/s (4.8 km/(h⋅s)) |
3.2 mph/s (5.1 km/(h⋅s))
|Auxiliaries||SAFT 250AH battery (B car)|
|Electric system(s)||600 V DC Third rail|
|Current collection method||Contact shoe|
|Braking system(s)||Dynamic braking propulsion system; WABCO RT96 tread brake system|
|Safety system(s)||dead man's switch, tripcock|
|Headlight type||halogen light bulb|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
In total, 1,662 cars comprise the R160 class, and are split into two versions: the Alstom-built R160A and the Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock-built R160B. 372 out of the 1002 R160A cars are arranged in four-car sets, known as R160A-1 cars, with the remaining 630 cars in five-car sets, known as R160A-2 cars. All R160B cars are in five-car sets; however, two propulsion types were used. Cars with Alstom Onix propulsion found on all R160As are known as R160B-1 cars, and cars with Siemens SITRAC propulsion are known as R160B-2 cars.
Kawasaki had little to no problems in delivering the R160B cars, which entered service on August 17, 2006. Alstom was behind the delivery schedule early on for the R160As, which first ran on October 17, 2006. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority exercised “options” for both contracts, and by June 2010, all R160 cars were in service. Numerous experimental features were added to the R160s through the 2010s. 68 R160A cars were fitted with communications-based train control (CBTC) equipment installed for service on the Canarsie Line (L train), and the majority of the remaining fleet is planned to have CBTC equipment installed for service on the Queens Boulevard Line (E, F, M and R trains).
There are two versions of the R160: the R160A (built by Alstom, numbered 8313-8712, 9233-9802, & 9943-9974) and R160B (built by Kawasaki, numbered 8713-9232 & 9803-9942). The two-car types are nearly identical to each other, and differ only in a few ways; they are interoperable and can be interchanged with each other. The R160As and the majority of the R160Bs utilize the same traction motors as the R142s, which are somewhat similar to the traction motors of the Alstom Metropolis 98B trains that are found on the Warsaw Metro.
The R160 cars are configured in either four-car sets or five-car sets. 372 R160A cars (8313-8652 & 9943-9974) are configured as four-car sets. All of the four-car sets are maintained at East New York Yard for the BMT Eastern Division (J/Z, L, and M). The remaining 630 R160A cars and all R160Bs are configured as five-car sets for use on other B Division services. Some are maintained at Jamaica Yard, typically operating on the E, F and R, and the rest are maintained at the Coney Island Yard, typically operating on the N and W.
The R160A base order was part of a $961,687,121 contract funded in part by a grant from the Federal Transit Administration. The primary base order of the R160 class consisted of 660 cars, 400 R160As to be built by Alstom, and the remaining 260 R160Bs to be built by Kawasaki. The contract included options for further orders, which, if exercised, would have brought the total business with NYCT to about US$2.4 billion, for 1,700 subway cars, and Kawasaki would have manufactured 40% (680 cars) of the 1,700 cars. The R160 fleet was purchased at an average cost of $2.0 million USD per car.
The R160s are equipped with regenerative braking, which allows the cars to capture the braking energy as trains enter a station and transfer it to trains on nearby tracks.
One of the major changes and highlights of the new cars is the addition of an electronic "FIND" (Flexible Information and Notice Display) system, which includes an LCD screen displaying the route, route information, and advertisements, and a tri-color (red, yellow, green) LED strip map which 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. The FIND system replaces a plastic card that had a set route and stations printed on, which was used on the R142, R142A, R143, and R188 subway cars, each of which has 63 amber LED dot station indicators. This allows for instant route or line changes with the correct information, which includes, but is not limited to, the omitting of certain stops.
As part of a 2010 pilot program to increase security and capacity, R160B cars 8713-8722 tested folding seats, CCTV, pivoted grabhandles, and looped stanchions. Following passenger complaints and Kawasaki's refusal to test the same equipment on a set of R142 cars, the program was cancelled in 2012 and the equipment was removed. Some of the remaining grabhandles and folding seats from the program have been reused to address a state of emergency in 2017, but have been the subject of vandalism.
R160A cars 9798-9802 were equipped with looped stanchions and double the number of poles, the former feature which was first seen on R160Bs 8713-8722. These features were later added in several other R160 cars during refurbishment, as part of the 2017 state of emergency.
In 2016, a non-advertised pilot program saw 20 R160 trainsets based out of Jamaica Yard testing onboard WiFi.  Also in 2016, many cars had their Arts for Transit boards replaced with LCD information screens to display public safety announcements, advertisements and trivia. These screens are similar to the ones onboard all R143 cars; however, they can display a range of colors instead of just red, orange and green.
R160B cars 9928-9932 are equipped with LED headlights, which are planned to be included on the R211 cars.[a]
In 2018, R160A car 8395 had its truck suspension system replaced with carbon fiber reinforced plastic "efWING" leaf springs from Kawasaki, to determine the feasibility of them replacing the heavier coil spring suspension found on all other R160s. R160B car 9116 was also equipped with the new suspension.[b]
Communications-based train control
There are current and future use cases for communications-based train control with the R160 cars. 68 R160As (8313-8380) have CBTC equipment installed for use on the Canarsie Line (L train), alongside already-equipped R143 cars. 1,486 additional R160 cars, including 5-car sets maintained at Coney Island Yard and 4-car sets maintained at East New York, are planned to be equipped with CBTC for use on the Queens Boulevard Line (E, F, M and R trains). R160As 8313–8316 and 8377–8380 were temporarily taken out of service to test equipment between Bergen Street and Church Avenue on the express track of the IND Culver Line, and have returned to service with the equipment removed.
On July 31, 2002, it was announced that New York City Transit awarded a $961,687,121 contract to Alstom for 660 new cars, with two new options that could provide for a total of 1040 cars. Kawasaki and Alstom organized a joint venture called Alskaw Inc. for project management, engineering, and equipment purchasing to pursue the contract, and to allow for operational compatibility with the R143s, which were built by Kawasaki. The two companies built and delivered the rolling stock through the joint venture. Kawasaki not only manufactured 260 cars for the base contract but was also the engineering leader for the whole project and provided the trucks for all cars. Alstom assembled 1,002 R160A cars at its manufacturing plant in Hornell, New York, while Kawasaki assembled 660 R160B cars at its plant in Yonkers, New York. Shells for the Alstom-built cars were built in their Lapa plant, in São Paulo, Brazil, and shells for the Kawasaki-built cars were assembled at their Lincoln, Nebraska, plant. The base order consisted of 660 cars, the first option included 620 cars, and the second option included 382 cars.
Early on in the order, Alstom encountered significant start-up production problems since being awarded the base contract. In July 2005, Alstom missed its contractual deadline to deliver the 10-car test train, which arrived five months late with Alstom requesting three additional months to deliver the test train. In addition, the Transit Authority rejected several car shells made earlier at their plant in Lapa, Brazil, near São Paulo, after discovering welding defects.
The first 5-car set of R160As (8653-8657) was delivered on November 29, 2005, and the next remaining five cars (8658-8662) were delivered on December 6, 2005, to the New York City Transit Authority, forming a complete 10-car train for acceptance testing and evaluation. The R160As entered revenue service on the A on October 17, 2006, for in-service acceptance testing after several months of exhaustive non-revenue service tests.
The first train of R160Bs (8713-8722) was delivered on July 22, 2005. The R160Bs entered revenue service on the N on August 17, 2006 for in-service acceptance testing after slightly over a year of successful non-revenue service tests.
While Kawasaki had few or no problems in delivering the R160Bs, Alstom was behind on its delivery schedule early on in the R160A order. Alstom was to deliver 200 out of the 400-car base order by September 2007. However, by that month, Alstom had only delivered 80 cars. Under the base contract, Alstom agreed to pay damages of $800 a day for late deliveries of four-car trains, and $1,000 a day for five-car trains, though the Transit Authority had not yet fined Alstom for its late deliveries and was actually negotiating with Alstom to accelerate their delivery schedule. The 200 cars were finally delivered 7 months late in early April 2008.
On November 10, 2008, the MTA exercised options for 140 R160B cars (9803-9942), and 242 R160A cars, broken down into 32 cars arranged as 4-car sets (9943-9974) and 210 cars arranged in 5-car sets (9593-9802).
Post-delivery incidents and refurbishments
After Hurricane Sandy, R160B set 8738–8742 was damaged and required an extensive electrical reconstruction at Coney Island Shops. In March 2016, the set underwent pre-service testing and finally returned to service in fall 2016.
In response to the 2017 New York City transit crisis, the R160s have seen mass refurbishments. The majority of R160 cars have been given LED interior lighting, yellow-painted looped stanchions, traffic flow signage and LCD information screens, and some have been deep-cleaned. Twenty 5-car train sets assigned to the E service were given a new exterior wrap to match upcoming rolling stock, as well as interior artwork, LED interior lighting, yellow-painted looped stanchions, arrows on the floors around the doorways, and LCD information screens. The seats at the end of the cars were also removed for extra capacity. Some 4-car train sets assigned to the L service have been given the same new exterior wrap, LED interior lighting, yellow-painted looped stanchions, floor arrows, and LCD information screens (that replaced the art-for-transit cards), plus folding seats and pivoted grabhandles previously tested in 2010. Passengers sometimes vandalize the seats when they are locked in the up position during rush hours.
In September 2020, one set of R160s received digital display advertising as a pilot test. This is similar to the digital advertising found on the R188s.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to R160 (New York City Subway car).|
- nycsubway.org: R160 cars
- Korman, Joe (January 12, 2018). "BMT-IND Car Assignments". JoeKorNer.
- Korman, Joe (November 6, 2016). "New York City Subway Car Fleet June 2010 through November 2016". JoeKorNer.
- on YouTube
- Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc.: R160B