USA: MTA New York City Transit took delivery of its first five R211 metro cars at the South Brooklyn Transfer Yard on July 1, following delivery from manufacturer Kawasaki Rail Car.

Type approval and commissioning testing will begin in the next few weeks, NYCT said, with the cars expected to enter service on the Subway’s B Division of lettered lines next summer.

The R211 trainsets feature a number of design innovations, in addition to a more striking livery than the bare metal traditionally carried by Subway cars. The trains have doors 1 473 mm wide, which is 203 mm wider than existing fleets. This is intended to speed up boarding and alighting as part of efforts to reduce station dwell times. The cars also include digital displays that will provide real-time information about service and stations, and brighter lighting and signage.

The R211s are part of a $6·1bn investment in rolling stock under the current MTA Capital Plan. The full base order for the R211 fleet comprises 535 cars, but NYCT has options for up to 1 500. Within the base order, 20 vehicles will be equipped with open gangways to give a walk-through interior, the first time such a design has been adopted on the New York Subway. NYCT expects this to reduce crowding and distribute passenger loads more evenly through the train.

‘The arrival of the first of the R211s marks a critical milestone in the MTA’s broader efforts at modernisation’, commented Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development. ‘They are a vital element of our historic Capital Plan that is continuing to pick up steam as we begin to emerge from the pandemic. In addition to giving riders a more modern passenger experience, they’re also essential to the resignalling initiatives already underway that will allow us to increase capacity by running more trains, and providing more frequent service.’