R40A (New York City Subway car)

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R40A (New York City Subway car)
Manufacturer St. Louis Car Company
Replaced many BMT AB Standards
Constructed 1968–1969
Refurbishment 1988–1989
Scrapped 2008-2010
Number built 200 (100 slant end & 100 straight end)
Number preserved 4
Number scrapped 196
Formation Married Pairs
Fleet numbers 4350-4449 (slant)
4450-4549 (modified)
originally 4450-4549 (slant) and 4250-4349 (modified). Car numbers 4350-4449 were formerly 4450-4549, and 4450-4549 were formerly 4250-4349 before 1970.
Capacity 44 (seated)
Operator(s) New York City Subway
Car body construction Stainless Steel sides with Carbon Steel chassis and underframes, Fiberglass A-end bonnet
Car length 60 ft (18.29 m)
Width 10 ft (3.05 m)
Height 12.08 ft (3.7 m)
Platform height 3.76 ft (1.15 m)
Doors 8
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight 77,695 lb (35,242 kg) (slant)
78,030 lb (35,394 kg)
Traction system General Electric (GE) SCM 17KG192AE2 propulsion system using GE 1257E1 motors (115 hp or 86 kW per axle)
Braking system(s) WABCO "SMEE" Braking System, A.S.F. simplex unit cylinder clasp (tread) brake
Safety system(s) emergency brakes
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The R40A was a B Division New York City Subway car built by the St. Louis Car Company between 1968 and 1969. The order was a continuation of the R40 cars, and contained two forms or body types: a slant-ended version that was similar to the original R40 fleet (sometimes referred to as the R40 Slant), and a straight-ended (or "modified") version similar to the R42 fleet (sometimes referred to as the R40M).


The R40As were originally delivered with the same successful Stone Safety 10 ton air conditioning systems/units found on the last ten R38 cars, and became standard equipment on all future new cars purchased from this point onward. As a result of the air conditioning, the standee poles were arranged in an alternating pattern rather than the straight-line pattern seen in the older R40s.

The slant-ended cars were numbered 4350–4449 (originally numbered as 4450–4549 until 1970) while the straight-ended cars were numbered 4450–4549 (originally 4250–4349, again until 1970). The straight-end was designed by Sundberg-Ferar.

Due to the cosmetic and mechanical similarities the straight-ended R40As and the R42s shared, the two fleets often ran together. In fact, one pair of cars consisted of a R40A car mated to a R42 car. This was the result of an accident on the Williamsburg Bridge in 1995, which involved R40A cars 4460-4461 and R42 cars 4664-4665, and which resulted in the scrapping of R42 4664, the rebuilding of 4461 into a slant ended car (temporarily numbered 4260),[1][2] and the mating of 4460 to R42 car 4665.

In 1988–89 the R40As were rebuilt by Sumitomo in Elmira Heights, New York, which included a new interior design and removal of the MTA paint band.

Retirement and preservation

The R160 subway car order has replaced all of the R40A fleet. The last slanted train, consisting of R40A pairs 4414–4415, 4424–4425, 4432–4433, 4398–4399, and R40 4256–4257 made its final trip on the A on June 12, 2009, and the last modified pair, 4484–4485, ran on the V on August 28 as a consist with eight R42s. After retirement, most cars were stripped and sunk as artificial reefs along the Atlantic coast.

Pair 4480–4481 have been held for the New York Transit Museum and are currently stored at the Concourse Yard.[3]

Car 4460 and its R42 mate 4665 have been preserved by the Railway Preservation Corp and are stored at Coney Island Yard.

Car 4461 is currently at the Randall's Island FDNY Facility, used with R62s 1366 and 1370 as training cars.[4][5]

Pairs 4392-4393 and 4442-4443 were retained as school cars until fall 2013, when they were taken to Sims Metal Management to be scrapped.

See also

Further reading

  • Sansone, Gene. Evolution of New York City subways: An illustrated history of New York City's transit cars, 1867-1997. New York Transit Museum Press, New York, 1997 ISBN 978-0-9637492-8-4


External links