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BSmith

R32 vs. PATH PA1

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Yes, St. Louis Cars are knocked here. And I will agree that Budd cars are better. But, here's the thing. Regarding design, I find that the one year younger PA1 and then the next year's PA2, are much more modern designs than the R32/R38s. And they've lasted. Yes, the PATH trains likely have far fewer miles to service, but the PA1s, have lots of design features that we associate with modern trains. Curved sides, large windows, wide doors, and they also had bucket seats. They don't have full width cabs, but they don't look anywhere near as dated as the R32. They were painted aluminum according to WIKI and they are still going strong. I find them smoother and quieter than the R32 as well. All I'm getting at is, I think that the MTA was lagging a bit in the 1960s, the slants were an attempt to have the MTA trains become more modern in design/aesthetics. Also, train design hasn't really become that radically different. In the 1960s/1970s certain big design changes were made but since then, more electronics, digital displays and some engineering refinement, but is there anything really revolutionary as what happened in the 1960s/1970s? For me, the R44 is still the train that "modernized" the MTA fleet.

 

If a poster can place a PA1 vs. an R32 side by side, I'd appreciate it.

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We have to note that the PA1s are FRA regulated, while the R32s are not. That can probably explain why their suspensions are relatively better as their trucks are no different from those used on passenger trains. If you look closely at the wheels, you'll notice that the PA1-4 wheels are exposed much like the NJT Comets I-V, Arrows I-III, and Amtrak Amfleet I-IIs. On the other hand, SMEE trucks and NTT trucks are "sandwiched" into the truck. Correct me if I'm wrong but, I think that the wheels on the PA1s are the same as the ones on the Amfleets.

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Firstly and fore-mostly, the PA fleet has been in non-stop service since they were delivered. They are showing their age, but they served well and the PA5 is a worthy replacement. During peak hours PATH moves more people per track mile than any transit system in the world. It has a far more complex history than the subway per track mile, and indeed is FRA heavy rail main line regulated. If they wanted to be nutty, you could hook a PA car on the back of a train at hudson interlocking with pax on board.

 

That being said...

 

The R32 is part of what i call "the old school". The old school involves lines and dimensions and shapes and interior and exterior cues that date back to the first proper vestibule railcars. Some of these shapes and such are safety related, but mostly they are signature "lines" that a designer would stick to and be known for. The triplexes are what i call "rapid old school" or "electric old school" as they more resemble the early electric multiple units run on main line operations.

 

The PA1 is what i call "retro" because its design is very much that of the times vs borrowing lines etc from an earlier era. BART and the DC metro are also "retro" in respect to rolling stock. If you go to several stations on the (F) you'll see more of this modern design, but from a slightly earlier era.

 

Kawasaki & st louis car also designed trams, trolleys, and streetcars. This evidence can be found in the overall layout of the PA1, while sticking to heavy rail FRA standards and having rapid transit in mind.

 

Now, all that being said, the PA railcar standards are smaller due to the hudson tubes having a maximum practical size, and even compared to IRT rolling stuck simply have different dimensions. There were also shorter (2-4 car) trains, but ran more often than today.

 

- A

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Andy pretty much laid everything out about the PAs. I would actually compare the PA1-2s more with the R44s as they have that non-boxy feeling and smoother suspensions. If you would consider that the PA1-2s as subway trains, then I must say that they are the best ones made by the St Louis Car Company with the R44s and R38s following. For all those people who believes that the St Louis Car company was a subway failure, the PA1-2s are perfect examples of their subway successes.

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Yes, St. Louis Cars are knocked here. And I will agree that Budd cars are better. But, here's the thing. Regarding design, I find that the one year younger PA1 and then the next year's PA2, are much more modern designs than the R32/R38s. And they've lasted. Yes, the PATH trains likely have far fewer miles to service, but the PA1s, have lots of design features that we associate with modern trains. Curved sides, large windows, wide doors, and they also had bucket seats. They don't have full width cabs, but they don't look anywhere near as dated as the R32. They were painted aluminum according to WIKI and they are still going strong. I find them smoother and quieter than the R32 as well. All I'm getting at is, I think that the MTA was lagging a bit in the 1960s, the slants were an attempt to have the MTA trains become more modern in design/aesthetics. Also, train design hasn't really become that radically different. In the 1960s/1970s certain big design changes were made but since then, more electronics, digital displays and some engineering refinement, but is there anything really revolutionary as what happened in the 1960s/1970s? For me, the R44 is still the train that "modernized" the MTA fleet.

 

If a poster can place a PA1 vs. an R32 side by side, I'd appreciate it.

 

The PA-1's are awsome subways cars, They are very smooth and queit and Fast, My 1st time riding them was fun and they are good cars, As for the R32's the TA was smart when they let Budd car co. build the R32's, The R32's were supposed to be built by st.Louis car co but Budd won the bid and they designed the R32's, That's why the R32's are still in service and the Longest R-type to run becuse of their strong body, The R26 is in 2nd place for longest R-type and that Car was built by ACF and lasted 43 years.

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I guess Budd had the best cost to offer back then! And there released a load of stainless steel. I bet that if Westinghouse built the propulsion systems that the R32s would run so much better.

 

But returning to PA1s, their rides sometimes feel exactly like those of the NJT Arrow IIIs. Plus, the PA1s even have the same WABCO AA-2 horns as the Arrow IIIs. Sorry for veering off topic, but does anyone know what horns are on the PA5s?

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The PA-1's are awsome subways cars, They are very smooth and queit and Fast, My 1st time riding them was fun and they are good cars, As for the R32's the TA was smart when they let Budd car co. build the R32's, The R32's were supposed to be built by st.Louis car co but Budd won the bid and they designed the R32's, That's why the R32's are still in service and the Longest R-type to run becuse of their strong body, The R26 is in 2nd place for longest R-type and that Car was built by ACF and lasted 43 years.

 

Who made the choice to use carbon steel in the R38-R42? I know that Budd always insisted on stainless steel and did not accept carbon steel, and it's proven why. But St. Louis built the PA1s, and they've been in service only a few months shorter than the R32s with one major GOH like the R32s. St. Louis built the R32-R44s, but not of aluminum like Path's PA1s, but of stainless and carbon steel, the latter being more subject to corrosion. So, did the MTA, or TA at the time, specify carbon steel in the St. Louis cars and St. Louis agreed, or did St. Louis choose to use carbon steel? Overall, I think St. Louis built excellent cars until the R44 which was not tested well enough and Budd built outstanding cars, including the Arrows on NJT and LIRRs M1 and M2. Maybe M3?

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does any1 have a pic of the PA1, cuz then i dunno how PA1 can be similar to the revenue 32s

 

They aren't similar but debuted at a similar time and are still in service. The R32s in 1964 and the PA1s in 1965. The PA1s were a more modern design where the R32s were more conservative and maybe proven design.

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I don't think stainless steel was even thought out to be efficient back then. As with every contract, the winning ones are usually the least costly ones. Budd had always been known for using stainless steel and therefore applies it every train. St Louis on the other hand probably taken a cheap road and messed up the R40-R42.

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For all those people who believes that the St Louis Car company was a subway failure, the PA1-2s are perfect examples of their subway successes.

 

Exactly the point I wanted to make. Thanks. The PA1s have lasted virtually just as long as the R32s.

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When it comes down to comparisons, these two types of cars simply cannot be compared. One is built with FRA regulations & standards, while another is just a simple subway car.

 

If you want to make a good comparison of two things, the SIR-R44 and PATH's PA-1 is the way to go.

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The R44 SIRTs definitely feel more like regular subway cars than the PAs. For one thing, the R44 SIRTs use the standard SMEE truck while the PA1-2s use a truck similar to those of the Amfleets except with propulsion systems and motors.

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The exterior of the PA1-4s definitely reminds me more of those of the R44s-R46s,

 

Yes. That's why I say the MTA, just in terms of car design, not necessarily truck suspension/ride smoothness that as you state won't compare due to PATH having FRA standards, lagged behind PATH at the time. Today, a PA5 doesn't look dramatically different in shape from a PA1 as opposed to a K car vs. a PA1. To me, the R32/R36/R38 resembles more the K than the PA1 in overall shape if not details.

 

The R44 debuted in 1972, a good 7 years after the PA1. For me, since the PA1, PATH trains aren't radically different in design, more evolutionary changes. To some degree, neither is the R160 that much of a change from the R44 overall (despite 75 vs. 60 ft.). Interior, more digital stuff, different color schemes, but nothing that radical.

 

1965: PA1: http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?24777 (great view of wheels in this pic)

2008: PA5: http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?100289

1958: K: http://world.nycsubway.org/perl/show?24760

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Because the hudson tubes are, well, tubes, they are round and this allows the sides of the carbodies to have a "knee". IRT tunnels are mostly flat, so IRT carbodies are flat sided. Typically the "knee" in a carbody side allows a bit more room when seats are placed facing inward along the side or to make room for HVAC etc. The "knee" also is heavily dependent on the loading gauge, and some designs, such as the arrow 3, silverliner 4, R32 are flat sided. The knee also allows the cars to be wider in floorplan and where legs and walking is a concern, and narrower up top for super-elevated or grade differentiated turns so the top ends don't foul.

 

In the case of the R44, they have a knee which allows seats to be transverse and not take up too much room down the middle of the car.

 

Older car types were mainly flat sided, because that's just what they could do back then in terms of fabrication and assembly and materials. This changed when things advanced enough to be reliable and safe, leading to such designs as the amfleet form factor, viewliner, and indeed, the PA1-4.

 

- A

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The R44 SIRTs definitely feel more like regular subway cars than the PAs. For one thing, the R44 SIRTs use the standard SMEE truck while the PA1-2s use a truck similar to those of the Amfleets except with propulsion systems and motors.

 

Which is why they were built to FRA regulations & standards, they were built with the trucks & wheels that were spec'd for it. The R44s were overhauled & modified to FRA regs & standards.

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Which is why they were built to FRA regulations & standards, they were built with the trucks & wheels that were spec'd for it. The R44s were overhauled & modified to FRA regs & standards.

 

Correct!

 

- A

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Thanks for the good info Andy! However regarding the "knee" design, I think that the R40s were the first ones to have that design and not the R44s. If you take a closer look, the rippled bottom part of the side is actually slanted. I'm actually unclear of the reason as to why they designed this for bench seaters that resemble their predecessors.

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Thanks for the good info Andy! However regarding the "knee" design, I think that the R40s were the first ones to have that design and not the R44s. If you take a closer look, the rippled bottom part of the side is actually slanted. I'm actually unclear of the reason as to why they designed this for bench seaters that resemble their predecessors.

 

I noticed that. In James Clifford Greller's Book, _New York City Subway Cars_, put out quite a few years that only goes up to the R110s, the artist conception rendering of the interior R40 slant shows a car with slanted sides a la PA1 and a more PA1 like color scheme on an air-conditioned car. The actual slant had a much more conservative design using almost flat sides, no a/c, straphangers, and the aqua color scheme of the time. My feeling is the MTA decided not to curve the sides yet for whatever reason (though unfortunately stuck with the design disaster of the front end). IMO, the R40 slant was a significant step forward, though it was a functional disaster.

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As its been explained to me ... The Port Authority embarrassed the TA with the PA-1 order of modern looking, fully air conditioned equipment with door chimes and the works. The same thing is sort of happening now with the PA-5 order in comparison to the R-160s. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe PATH is getting the PA-5s for a lower price than what the (MTA) is paying for the R-160s.

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I noticed that. In James Clifford Greller's Book, _New York City Subway Cars_, put out quite a few years that only goes up to the R110s, the artist conception rendering of the interior R40 slant shows a car with slanted sides a la PA1 and a more PA1 like color scheme on an air-conditioned car. The actual slant had a much more conservative design using almost flat sides, no a/c, straphangers, and the aqua color scheme of the time. My feeling is the MTA decided not to curve the sides yet for whatever reason (though unfortunately stuck with the design disaster of the front end). IMO, the R40 slant was a significant step forward, though it was a functional disaster.

 

That's true. The only real modernity in the R-40s was the slant front, which appeared revolutionary at the time, possibly in addition to the larger windows. Otherwise, they weren't all that different from the other SMEEs.

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As its been explained to me ... The Port Authority embarrassed the TA with the PA-1 order of modern looking, fully air conditioned equipment with door chimes and the works. The same thing is sort of happening now with the PA-5 order in comparison to the R-160s. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe PATH is getting the PA-5s for a lower price than what the (MTA) is paying for the R-160s.

 

I do believe they are, with more better specifications and a much smoother ride than the R160s, their propulsion packages is waaaaay better than that Alstom Onix crapola. I'll take the PA-5s over the R160s any day of the week

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe PATH is getting the PA-5s for a lower price than what the (MTA) is paying for the R-160s.

 

another factor for the cheaper price could be because it's a bit smaller (a division length, b division width)

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