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BSmith

1964-1971 B-Division R car debuts

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1964-1971 brought huge changes to the B division and rapid redesign of trains, replacing lots of standards and Armines. Seems the modernization was huge at the time.

 

1964 R32: I know that it made its debut on a Brighton line. Not sure which though. Q or N (was it called the Q in those days? I remember a QB running on Broadway that is today's Q). Stainless steel ribbed car with redbird shape. Blue doors. Used red bird type of car ID and destination roll signs on the sides. Begins the non-painted steel look era (1949's Budd-built "new technology" R11 may have technically, but too small a fleet). Nickname Brightliners, probably short for Brighton liners. Color roll signs for lines on the subway cars did not exist yet (and then, each line had a different color and there were quite a few double letters and two-letter lines).

 

1966 R38: Debut on the F line. Replacing Armines. Same shape and dimensions as R32 but silver doors and thin light-blue stripe. Inside the lights were illuminated advertisement style that lasted until the R68s. A few of the latest cars were air-conditioned.

 

1968 R40 slant: Debut on the F line. Starts the color roll signs. Dramatically different front, huge, I mean huge front roll sign (F color was magenta at the time). Less seats than R32/R38 with wider doors, some air-conditioned. Larger windows. The beginning of curved sides but walls not noticeably slanted within. Attempt at "modern" design. New destination and roll signs on side windows.

 

1968 R40M: Not sure of debut. Might be F. Slant straightened out. All a/c.

 

1969 R42: Not sure of debut. Ran on just about every line soon after its introduction. Very similar to R40M. Slight differences to the exterior ribbing below the beltline and storm door was wider with shorter door window.

 

1971 R44: Debut on F line. Dramatic difference and advance in rolling stock. 75 feet long. Shape R40M like but with curved sides and less ribbing, more modern look. Interior dramatically different in color scheme, layout, ding-dong chime introduced to alert passengers to doors closing, faux wood partitions near door with glass. Shared overall appearance with LIRR M1. Car praised for ride and quietness, the first really quiet MTA subway train.

 

The R46 debut was late in 1975 on the F line, a similar car to the R44 with a new suspension that was even smoother than the R44. The R44/R46 had major problems that the R32-R42 did not have and were at times taken out of service in their early years. Original R46 had glass in the partitions, just like the R44. Since then introduction of newbuilds has been slower. R62s in the early 80s on the A division. R68s in the mid 80s on the B division. Neither of these were revolutionary. R62s did bring stainless steel cars to the A division, a new silver walled interior, and R44 type of bucket seatings with the same color scheme. R68s were like R46s without the partitions and with the R62s walls. They did bring back individual cabs however for each car. No huge advances in quietness/smoothness over R44, in fact, ride not as smooth and traction motors not quite as quiet as original R44 or R46.

 

Does anyone know the official debut line of the R32 and R42? Most newbuilds of the 1960s and 1970s had their debuts on the F line and went to the E a few months later.

 

For me, this was the most exciting era of newbuild introductions. The stainless steel R32 (I didn't know this train as I saw and rode in it after the R38 and knew that it was a slightly older design than the R38). The slants introduced a new front shape and larger windows, new roll signs. The R44 a totally new interior and huge advance in subway quietness and comfort.

Today it is R143/R160, two similar trains (also similar, at least inside to the A division's R142). Though the R32 and R46 orders were large, the R160 order is huge and a similar type of train is being placed in service since late 2001. So 2001 to 2010 or even later does not see in its 9 year period the great variety and advancement in design and performance that the 8-year 1964-1971 period saw. I guess I feel lucky to have ridden all of those trains when they were new and know them from the perspective of that time. Trains last a long time. So when the R160s retire, we'll all be considerably older. If I'm still around, I may need someone to help me hobble onto the platform to ride the spanking new R224 that replaces them. :P

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The R32 first went on the Q express, and then the N.

40m and 42 may have been E, but could have also been F. I know those old pictures of them new usually show F.

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Very informative! The R32s debuted on today's (Q), and the R42s debuted on today's (N).

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1964-1971 brought huge changes to the B division and rapid redesign of trains, replacing lots of standards and Armines. Seems the modernization was huge at the time.

 

1964 R32: I know that it made its debut on a Brighton line. Not sure which though. Q or N (was it called the Q in those days? I remember a QB running on Broadway that is today's Q). Stainless steel ribbed car with redbird shape. Blue doors. Used red bird type of car ID and destination roll signs on the sides. Begins the non-painted steel look era (1949's Budd-built "new technology" R11 may have technically, but too small a fleet). Nickname Brightliners, probably short for Brighton liners. Color roll signs for lines on the subway cars did not exist yet (and then, each line had a different color and there were quite a few double letters and two-letter lines).

 

1966 R38: Debut on the F line. Replacing Armines. Same shape and dimensions as R32 but silver doors and thin light-blue stripe. Inside the lights were illuminated advertisement style that lasted until the R68s. A few of the latest cars were air-conditioned.

 

1968 R40 slant: Debut on the F line. Starts the color roll signs. Dramatically different front, huge, I mean huge front roll sign (F color was magenta at the time). Less seats than R32/R38 with wider doors, some air-conditioned. Larger windows. The beginning of curved sides but walls not noticeably slanted within. Attempt at "modern" design. New destination and roll signs on side windows.

 

1968 R40M: Not sure of debut. Might be F. Slant straightened out. All a/c.

 

1969 R42: Not sure of debut. Ran on just about every line soon after its introduction. Very similar to R40M. Slight differences to the exterior ribbing below the beltline and storm door was wider with shorter door window.

 

1971 R44: Debut on F line. Dramatic difference and advance in rolling stock. 75 feet long. Shape R40M like but with curved sides and less ribbing, more modern look. Interior dramatically different in color scheme, layout, ding-dong chime introduced to alert passengers to doors closing, faux wood partitions near door with glass. Shared overall appearance with LIRR M1. Car praised for ride and quietness, the first really quiet MTA subway train.

 

The R46 debut was late in 1975 on the F line, a similar car to the R44 with a new suspension that was even smoother than the R44. The R44/R46 had major problems that the R32-R42 did not have and were at times taken out of service in their early years. Original R46 had glass in the partitions, just like the R44. Since then introduction of newbuilds has been slower. R62s in the early 80s on the A division. R68s in the mid 80s on the B division. Neither of these were revolutionary. R62s did bring stainless steel cars to the A division, a new silver walled interior, and R44 type of bucket seatings with the same color scheme. R68s were like R46s without the partitions and with the R62s walls. They did bring back individual cabs however for each car. No huge advances in quietness/smoothness over R44, in fact, ride not as smooth and traction motors not quite as quiet as original R44 or R46.

 

Does anyone know the official debut line of the R32 and R42? Most newbuilds of the 1960s and 1970s had their debuts on the F line and went to the E a few months later.

 

For me, this was the most exciting era of newbuild introductions. The stainless steel R32 (I didn't know this train as I saw and rode in it after the R38 and knew that it was a slightly older design than the R38). The slants introduced a new front shape and larger windows, new roll signs. The R44 a totally new interior and huge advance in subway quietness and comfort.

Today it is R143/R160, two similar trains (also similar, at least inside to the A division's R142). Though the R32 and R46 orders were large, the R160 order is huge and a similar type of train is being placed in service since late 2001. So 2001 to 2010 or even later does not see in its 9 year period the great variety and advancement in design and performance that the 8-year 1964-1971 period saw. I guess I feel lucky to have ridden all of those trains when they were new and know them from the perspective of that time. Trains last a long time. So when the R160s retire, we'll all be considerably older. If I'm still around, I may need someone to help me hobble onto the platform to ride the spanking new R224 that replaces them. :)

You forgot about the R10 in 1949, a B division car because was used on the IND A line and BMT #15 (Jamaica) line; the R16 used on the #15 and the first IND train to the Rockaways; and the R27/30 used in the BMT south till the merger discussed below.

 

When Chrystie St. opened in 1967 (I believe) you had the merger of the BMT/IND, most well known as when the D line got rerouted to the Brighton Line. After that the subway lines started to be refered as the A Division for the numbered lines and the B Division for the lettered lines.

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