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BSmith

R160s, my opinion

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OK. I think the MTA has ordered a lot of them. For new cars, they seem to be reliable. If the biggest problem is the FIND, then that's a good thing. They've done better than trains introduced in the 1980s, the R68, though the R62 did well, and way better than the R44/R46 introduced in the 70s that had a myriad of serious problems.

 

Yet, I find them underwhelming. After riding in a speeding R160A E on Sunday through Queens, Manhattan and then back to Lexington Av., a train that's only be in service a few months, I found it to be just OK. Brakes are impressive. But, overall noise level isn't that low, the roominess of the train is lacking--it does not feel roomy, the passenger flow may not be great due to the lack of offset doors and pole placements that are near the doors, I'm dumbfounded by the central pole between the seats that has continued from the R142/R143 that takes away flexibility with seating, the overall smoothness of ride isn't a huge step up from the R68--in fact I sense a bit of shakiness and I tried a few of the cars. The ride seems more cushioned, but it does not glide effortlessly like an R44/R46/R68. I'm not a fan of all red digital train ID signs as I've stated earlier. If they've gone that route, which will date the trains as being mid 2000 designs, at least have some color somewhere on the outside of the train showing the line's color (remove the flag or the MTA logo from the front, place a strip of the color perhaps). The all digital thing doesn't work as well in quick identification as the colors, and the signs seem a bit small to me as well. I think the trains will date, the whole look/feel of them are so much what's hip now. But, in 2017, will they be so hip? Will they age as well as the R68 or R62? Is ordering 1700 of one type of car a good thing (assuming the options)?

 

Yet, the MTA has ordered and will order tons more of them. And they perform well enough. It's nice to get an up-to-date computerized train. But, IMO, they are nothing special.

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I think you have a lot of fair criticisms.

 

I think a modernized R62/R42 idea/layout would have gone a long way towards providing a modern fleet without reinventing the wheel in ways which havn't necessarily worked out that well. (Although, many of the innovations have worked out well, and FIND is a GREAT idea, if it would only work)

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Art,

 

Thanks. FIND. Computers. Most of us deal with them and are familiar with their limitations and frustrations. It's the R160s biggest feature.

 

Wonder if the MTA gets them working correctly if they could be retrofitted to the R142/R143. It may be a big job, though, something that could be done in a GOH way down the road.

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Yep, your criticisms are indeed valid.

 

However, I think the R160s are a bit more roomy. Especially if you are one of those individuals who like to stand by the doors. I definitely like the fact that they improved more space on the doors for easier wheelchair or stroller access and that is a MAJOR improvement.

 

The FIND screen is a wonderful achievement and I think somewhere down the road (MTA) will finally get them to work full time. And plus, the older fleets didn't have them at all, so it's better to have something there.

 

I do agree that the fronts should have some sort of colors to it, but the size of the front should be the way it is. The R160s have BRIGHT exterior LCD screens and they seem to be working all of the time, so that can be a customer's clue on what train it is.

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The R160Bs seem to have much less problems than the R160As such as the FIND sysrem malfunctions on E train. On the other hand, the R160Bs are relatively louder during acceleration and idlings for various reasons. If I were to choose between the 2, I would pick the R160As for quietness. I wish that their benches were the same ones used on the R38s

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What I really don't get is, the oblong rail on the ceiling on the R143s and R160s. It was designed for more standees. But given the height of the average American, how many can use it? In every R160 ride that I have taken, I do not see a crowd huddled under that rail, grasping onto it. They all cram around the standing poles and the rails above the seats. Few, if any, would grasp onto that ceiling rail.

It would make much more sense to lower the said rail about several inches (to a level where tall people can pass through with ease and that people could hold onto it with ease) so that more people can grasp onto it, freeing some room on the rails.

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The middle pole in the benches is a design flaw, I've noticed that it tends to get in the way. What would be a good replacement?

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The middle pole in the benches is a design flaw, I've noticed that it tends to get in the way. What would be a good replacement?

 

They should remove it.

It's a problem on the NTTs.

However the problem about removing is, it might weaken the rail above. The reason why there was a rail in the centre was to hold up the rail and to take in more standing passengers.

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The R160Bs seem to have much less problems than the R160As such as the FIND sysrem malfunctions on E train. On the other hand, the R160Bs are relatively louder during acceleration and idlings for various reasons. If I were to choose between the 2, I would pick the R160As for quietness. I wish that their benches were the same ones used on the R38s

 

About the FIND systems, who provides them? I thought that if they malfunctioned in one manufacturer's cars, they would in the other. So whether A or B, Alstom or Kawasaki, the problem would be with the FIND units and the programming bugs vs. the mechanical issues that can occur based on the manufacturer's testing, quality assurance (QA), etc. (unless the FIND testing is part of the QA)

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What I really don't get is, the oblong rail on the ceiling on the R143s and R160s. It was designed for more standees. But given the height of the average American, how many can use it? In every R160 ride that I have taken, I do not see a crowd huddled under that rail, grasping onto it. They all cram around the standing poles and the rails above the seats. Few, if any, would grasp onto that ceiling rail.

It would make much more sense to lower the said rail about several inches (to a level where tall people can pass through with ease and that people could hold onto it with ease) so that more people can grasp onto it, freeing some room on the rails.

 

Ergonomically, it's uncomfortable to reach up to use that ceiling rail. It's underutilized as you state. Lowering it may introduce safety concerns and passenger flow challenges (people ducking their heads and not going around it). Most people prefer center floor to ceiling poles to hold onto. Unfortunately, some selfish people tend to lean on them as well.

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Ergonomically, it's uncomfortable to reach up to use that ceiling rail. It's underutilized as you state. Lowering it may introduce safety concerns and passenger flow challenges (people ducking their heads and not going around it). Most people prefer center floor to ceiling poles to hold onto. Unfortunately, some selfish people tend to lean on them as well.

 

Really, that thing is redundant.

It would be cool if our NTTs looked something like this:

MTR_Hong_Kong_K-Stock_train.JPG

(MTR K-Stock, Hong Kong)

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I like the R142s...but I'm not impressed with the R160s for basically the same reasons as Mr. Smith. I mean way to go for getting updated cars...they look great perform alright...but they seem less fun. The voices on the R142s don't sound as boring. And I do feel like the 160s have less seating/standing room. But I'm giving them a chance none the less...some day these will be on the road to retirement from the system and we'll be talking about the good ole days when they ran on the lines if we live that long.

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That is one clean train, MTR. Nice.

 

I'm not sure EXACTLY, but these guys are just about as wide as our R160s, maybe a bit wider. But these trains are built for capacity.

I hope our future trains could implement some of the techniques that Hong Kong uses to deal with crowds. Hong Kong and Japanese trains are designed for large crowds.

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I'm not sure EXACTLY, but these guys are just about as wide as our R160s, maybe a bit wider. But these trains are built for capacity.

I hope our future trains could implement some of the techniques that Hong Kong uses to deal with crowds. Hong Kong and Japanese trains are designed for large crowds.

 

Yeah, they do so by having like.. no seats

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Yeah, they do so by having like.. no seats
Agreed, I was looking for a Thanks button for this post I must say LOL!

 

The R160s are great in my opinion, I look for them on every line they run on. I ain't really into the OTTs like that except the R32/38 and R40. I'm not liking them because they have announcements, I like the interior, the ride, the sound, and the A/C, not too hot, not too cold.

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Here's my share of some criticism of the R160A/B set. The Flexible Information Notice Display and Destination Bars seem to have a glitch occasionally. The displays don't change, the LCD screen often messes up and sometimes even the exterior destination signs don't work. Sometimes the FIND station list works properly but the LCD screen may show the wrong route.

 

Also the destination bar in the ceiling freezes up, for example, the (Q) train to 57th Street had a destination bar display that said (W) to Astoria-Ditmars. Some riders were confused, but it took them awhile for figure out it's a new (Q) train.

 

I really don't see this as a big deal, but to most riders, it's going to throw them off. I had one T/O say "These displays have a glitch on an average of once per trip."

 

That's all I'm going to say for now.

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Maybe, I can do a railfan trip sometime when I am in China so I can post pix/vids of the Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai Subways (Metro) since I know their 'Metros' are a lot like the ones in Hong Kong.

With the exception of Beijing and Tianjin, all of Mainland China's subway systems are in a way modelled after the Hong Kong MTR. Beijing and Tianjin's systems, after modernisation, are also modelled after the MTR. So the Hong Kong system is actually a "standard" for the Mainland system. Not to mention, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation builds some of the Mainland systems.

 

Now back to topic, yeah the FINDs are a problem too. However, it's experimental technology. The R160s are the first cars to have them. So I can't blame them that much for their shoddy performance. BUT... these problems should be remedied soon, they can't continue to mess up like this.

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The R160s are great in my opinion, I look for them on every line they run on.

 

Agreed....theres nothing wrong with the R-160's. The seats are fine, the ride is great and announcements are wonderful. So what the F.I.N.D is frozen and the LED display the wrong direction and/or stop....they have glitches like other new technology including phones and pc's. The R-160's are say to here like it or not, broken F.I.N.D/LED like it or not....its just a train!

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Agreed....theres nothing wrong with the R-160's. The seats are fine, the ride is great and announcements are wonderful. So what the F.I.N.D is frozen and the LED display the wrong direction and/or stop....they have glitches like other new technology including phones and pc's. The R-160's are say to here like it or not, broken F.I.N.D/LED like it or not....its just a train!

 

Amen.

Just deal with it.

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Agreed....theres nothing wrong with the R-160's. The seats are fine, the ride is great and announcements are wonderful. So what the F.I.N.D is frozen and the LED display the wrong direction and/or stop....they have glitches like other new technology including phones and pc's. The R-160's are say to here like it or not, broken F.I.N.D/LED like it or not....its just a train!

 

No subway design is above criticism. The whole point of assessing a train is to improve the next batch. The MTA needs intelligent feedback about these trains. Those overhead rails are useless. Don't need them in the R179. Those poles in the middle of the bench seats are not a good idea. Why did they get approved for the R160 when clearly they weren't a good idea in the R142/R143? I'm not worried about the FINDs. I'll agree with you that they are new technology and the glitches can be worked out.

 

You say they ride great. I think the ride is good, not great. Rode an R68Q into Brooklyn and a R160 back to Manhattan and I found the R68 to be smoother. For that matter some R44s and good R46s ride smoother, IMO. And, the R68s may be quieter to boot.

 

The design of the trains are crucial to how well they will handle passenger flow and overcrowding in their lifespan. Also, I'm not too sure that it is a great idea to order such a huge batch of trains. I think around 600 or so at a time is better. Let them be in service for awhile and then make modifications if necessary. I think if that was done, improvements could have been made to passenger flow for NTTs servicing the (E) and (F).

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You say they ride great. I think the ride is good, not great. Rode an R68Q into Brooklyn and a R160 back to Manhattan and I found the R68 to be smoother. For that matter some R44s and good R46s ride smoother, IMO. And, the R68s may be quieter to boot.

 

Hmmm... IDK about this one. The R68s always bounce around in the 59th St. Tunnel, but the 160s don't.

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Hmmm... IDK about this one. The R68s always bounce around in the 59th St. Tunnel, but the 160s don't.

 

I wonder if their weight has anything to do with that. Honestly I'd prefer more trains designed like R44-46 maybe designed like R32s in terms of seating space and outer design but with the propulsion mechanics of the R142/160s.

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