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Monday, February 16, 2015

Some Thoughts from an Old Timer

Hi Folks:

   I have not posted some pictures and maps for a long time because of both hard and software problems... therefore  I would like to apologize to you all.  Currently, I am running out of ideas to post and I do not know how long I can continue this blog.  Now I would like to give you some of my biased options about the current state of affairs of transit in the New York region.

  1. Lack of Interesting New York City Subway Equipment.  Today, for both the IRT and IND-BMT divisions, in my humble opinion, the current equipment lack variety.    On the IRT subway lines, you basically have two types of equipment:  The R-62's and the R-142's, and newer R-188's.  There are two basic types and the newer equipment is similar to the R-142's which is similar to the R-160's on the BMT-IND Lines.  In the "B" division, you have the elderly R-32's which are interesting, R68's which are similar to R46's, some R-42's, and similar R143's and R-160s.  So generally speaking you have two major classes for the IRT and five on the BMT-IND, you have generally seven types of cars.  One person posted me and told me that unlike the old days, we have air conditioned cars and better signage.  This is true but system wide, there is only seven basic types.  I was told... well, in the old days, you had only three basic types:  On the IND, you had the R1-9 series, for the BMT, you had the BMT Standards and for the IRT, you had the Low-V's.  While this is somewhat true, let us pick a year and see what types of cars were around. Let us pick, the year that the Third Avenue El stopped running in Manhattan in 1955.  Generally, on the IRT, you had Low-V's  and there were some variants around.  You had the Steinways, you had old elevated equipment such as the Q types and other types.  You had the post war R-12  to R-15 types on the Flushing Line and I believe the R-17's. On the BMT, you had the BMT standards, some elevated equipment as the "C" types, you had the very different Triplexes. You had some borrowed SIRT equipment on the Culver Line.  Even the BMT standards had two classes as well with different types of roll signs and roofs.  What was interesting, is that you had some IND equipment on the BMT, such as  on the Fourth Avenue Line and you had some modified Low-V to run on the BMT around 1959.  On the IND, you had only two types, the R1-9's and the R-10's.  Some R1-9's had experimental features.  I believe the R-11 experimental cars were also around.  In short, passing and viewing a train yard was very interesting those years.  No one would mistake a Low-V interior for a BMT standard interior.  Today, the interior of IRT cars are similar to the cars on the Lettered Lines.  Yes, the current information systems on board the newer equipment is wonderful , but when the newer R160's style equipment gets old, and the same style would be copied in the future,  riding the subway would be very boring indeed because of lack of variety.  And if the equipment should be vandalized, the boring environment will not be a pleasant one, just as was in the 1970's on the IRT, where the R 17 to R -35? equipment looked alike.

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