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can someone help explain.


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I guess i can help you out with some of those questions.....


The IRT stands for interbough rapid transit. And these are the number lines (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7).

Trains get replaced by age some of the old trains are too young or in such good shape that they cant be retired yet. The "old" trains that are currently getting retired are the R38s R40s and R42s which on the (A)(C)(:)(J)(M) and (Z) lines. The system will be 100% New trains by 2022. The R32s are the oldest cars in the fleet but there holding up so great that they cant be retired yet. And the R62/A and the R68/A are just too young to get retired.

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IRT is the Interborough Rapid Transit one of the first companies to build the subway in New York City. I believe it was in October of 1904, but I might be wrong. The IRT built the following lines


Basically all the numbered lines.


As of now the MTA is in the process of replacing the older cars, by purchasing new cars and testing them on several lines. The (2)(4)(5)(6) trains consist of mainly R142/a's which are the newer class of trains. The R143's and R160's mainly run on the (L) and the (N) Lines. More recently now the (J)(M)(Z) lines also.

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why is it that only the numbered trains are IRT trains and not the lettered trains?


I think it is because the IRT came first, and also to keep from confusing things between the two divisions, because the IND/BMT and IRT actual physical tunnels and platforms etc have different dimensions to fit different size rail cars. It has been stated by several (MTA) officials that any new service would use the IND/BMT standards, leaving the original IRT lines with (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(S) and no more because of the increased capacity of those newer standards..


- Andy

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-The IND lines (A)(B)(C)(D)(E)(F)(G) had those designations since the IND opened in 1932.


-When the IND opened, the IRT did not have any designations until sometime in the 1960s.


-Due to Chrystie Street opening back in 1967, the BMT took the letters near the end of the alphabet.


-That is why the IRT uses numbers instead of letters.

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So what do they call the lettered train lines?


The (A)(B)(C)(D)(E)(F)(G) and (V) trains (and soon to be the (T)) are all IND lines. The IND was made by the city back in the 1930s and 40s. The IND took over the private companies (BMT/IRT) and unified the whole system like what it is today. IND standards for train dimensions mean the car is 60' long and 10' wide. Some cars are 75' long and 10 feet wide. Instead of having 10 cars these trains have eight. (adds up to 600').


The (J)(L)(M)(N)(Q)(R)(W) and (Z) trains are BMT lines. They were originally numbered but converted to letters later on. BMT standards are the same as IND standards (10 feet, 60' cars).


The (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7) and 42nd Street (S) make up the IRT. The IRT was a private company (Interborough Rapid Transit) that was responsible for making the first subway in NYC. IRT dimensions for cars mean the train is 51' long, and 7 or 8 or so feet wide. The IRT also made dual-operated lines with the BMT, for example the (7) east of Queensboro Plaza. Ergo, the (7) east of QBP can be converted to BMT standards with relative ease.


Today, the numbered lines are referred to as the A Division.

The lettered lines are referred to as the B Division. The BMT Eastern Division ((J)(L)(M)(Z)) can't use 75' long cars. The platforms are only long enough for 480' trains, or 8 60 foot cars.

C Division, you'll hear once in a while and refers to work cars. These cars are built to A Division standards for use in the whole fleet.

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