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R68/R68A: The Unloved


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Hey everyone, just taking a break for a moment from all the Cuomo drama to give a shoutout to a car class that needs some affection: The R68. Is there anyone here who has love for our fat friends? I remember them dominating the N/Q/B/D growing up and how their silver glow and SMEE throwback sound was such an Integral part of my railfanning experience. If you have any love for the hippo, let this be your thread!  

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  • 4 years later...

I am absolutely obsessed with these 75' hunks. When I found out they're going to be replaced within ten years, I started going nuts with making trips I ride them (I'm near Harrisburg, PA). I made five trips last year to enjoy them along the West End line and I was blessed to collect a roll sign from one off eBay! 😁

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I remember when they first appeared on the D - Brighton Express.  I had just moved back to NYC from Seattle and was riding the subway again.  At that point the other cars on the line were falling apart and frequently had no lights. They've been on the D ever since, with the other CI lines getting them off and on over the years.  Other than one run on the A each day they were the only lines that ever used them.  I don't think they ever made it out to Queens Blvd, although maybe the N ran there with them at some point?  IDK.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, zacster said:

I remember when they first appeared on the D - Brighton Express.  I had just moved back to NYC from Seattle and was riding the subway again.  At that point the other cars on the line were falling apart and frequently had no lights. They've been on the D ever since, with the other CI lines getting them off and on over the years.  Other than one run on the A each day they were the only lines that ever used them.  I don't think they ever made it out to Queens Blvd, although maybe the N ran there with them at some point?  IDK.

Never did. The R68s started on the (D79)&

(Q) before the 1988 Archer Ave line extension and reopening of the 6th Ave side of the Manny B. The R68As started on the (D) before being moved over to the Coney Island Yard where they are currently serving the (B)(N) & (Q)
 

When they first came out, they were single cars. 2500-2724 had a different WABCO propulsion, similar to the last 110 R10s that were painted green and running on the (C). Car 2755 was missing number plates, so that’s why you saw the old school numbers on it. When 2725-2924 came in, they had the quiet version of the propulsion that in 1991, was changed on 2500-2724. In 1992, all cars were 4 car linked with even numbers became A cars and odd numbers became B cars. Same can be said for the R68As 5001-5200 with the links. 

Edited by FLX9304
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, zacster said:

I don't think they ever made it out to Queens Blvd, although maybe the N ran there with them at some point?  IDK.

There's an old video from around the late 80's which actually showed an R68 running on the (F) briefly. In a slightly more recent time around 2017, an R68A randomly appeared on the (R) out of nowhere. Also the (N) and (R) swapped happened way before the R68's were introduced iirc. 

(skip to around 1:42:28 to see the R68 (F) 
 

 

Edited by ArchytectAnthony
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On 6/10/2024 at 6:32 AM, zacster said:

I remember when they first appeared on the D - Brighton Express.  I had just moved back to NYC from Seattle and was riding the subway again.  At that point the other cars on the line were falling apart and frequently had no lights. They've been on the D ever since, with the other CI lines getting them off and on over the years.  Other than one run on the A each day they were the only lines that ever used them.  I don't think they ever made it out to Queens Blvd, although maybe the N ran there with them at some point?  IDK.

Long, long ago while operating a n/b R68 Q train there was a southbound 12-9 so they couldn't turn me at 57/7.  They had already rerouted several trains to Queensboro and Astoria, so they sent me and my R68 to Continental.

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Posted (edited)

I wonder, has the (D) always used the R68s that has the low end sign from beginning up to now? Or that they had R68As in the mix too like the current (B) train fleet, the R68s and R68As. 

Edited by Calvin
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36 minutes ago, Calvin said:

I wonder, has the (D) always used the R68s that has the low end sign from beginning up to now? Or that they had R68As in the mix too like the current (B) train fleet, the R68s and R68As. 

Yes, at least in the early years. The (D) train had 2500 to like 2590 in conjunction with the entire R68A order (which had the higher sign box) before 1995 when it got 2592 to 2790 from the (Qorange) train. Out of that allotment, various cars from 2770 to 2790 got their rollsign box placed higher.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I got on a D R68 July 4th. It was not a hot car but not cool at the same time…My guess is the holding time at stations could have been the cause in addition to the yankee game crowd makes these older sets feel like the A/C is not even working on a very hot and humid day.

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It’s an expectation that these R68s are not up to task during the summers. I get the NTTs whenever I can since they are more likely to have working air conditioners.

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