New York Subway open-gangway train (2)

USA: New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled the first walk-through R211 Subway trainset at Coney Island Yard in Brooklyn on February 3.

The open gangway cars are being supplied by Kawasaki Rail Car as part of a January 2018 order to pilot the use of such trains. Currently, no New York Subway trains offer passengers the ability to walk freely between vehicles.

The manufacturer has a framework contract to build 535 cars with options for up to 1 077 more, of which a call for 640 was exercised in October. Delivery of the trains from the first batch has been underway since July 2021. Of the initial build, a pre-series fleet of 20 vehicles has been equipped with open gangways supplied by component specialist Hübner.

New York Subway open-gangway train (1)

The open gangway trainsets are currently undergoing testing with a view to them entering service in late 2023. MTA says that their performance will determine potential future bulk procurement of similar cars; if the initial deployment is successful, the remaining 437 cars in the framework could be ordered as walk-through designs, MTA says.

‘The open gangway cars, which will soon be introduced to the New York Subway system, will allow riders to move more freely between trains and will provide greater accessibility’, said New York City Transit Senior Vice President for Subways Demetrius Crichlow.

‘These new Subway cars feature security cameras and digital displays along with wider doorways that will help speed up boarding times, run more reliable service and create a more modern experience for riders’, added New York City Transit President Richard Davey

‘Putting these cars into service will be a huge milestone in MTA’s efforts to modernise our fleet,’ said MTA Chair & CEO Janno Lieber. ‘These modern Subway cars will of course upgrade the passenger experience, but they will also complement our signalling improvement efforts and allow us to run more trains and provide more frequent subway service’, he added.