USA: The first refurbished R160 cars have entered service on New York City Transit’s E Subway line, New York MTA announced on October 3.

Work to refresh an initial 100 R160 cars is being undertaken to assess the capacity and reliability benefits before other fleets are modernised. This forms part of MTA’s Subway Action Plan, which was launched this summer in response to mounting public criticism of performance on the Subway network.

The redesign has seen seats removed from the ends of the saloon to accommodate between 80 and 100 additional standing passengers and to accelerate boarding and alighting at busy times. The interior and exterior design has also been updated. Changes include:

  • provision of more hand rails;
  • introduction of LCD information screens in every vehicle;
  • fitting LED lighting to improve visibility and reduce energy consumption;
  • internal and external wrapping to identify the refurbished trainsets, and exterior indicators to highlight the modified seating arrangement.
  • Mechanical interventions include replacement of the master controller, which has been identified as one of the leading causes of failure on the R160 fleet.

‘Providing a safe and reliable ride is what our customers demand and what the MTA is determined to deliver through our Action Plan’, commented Joseph Lhota, MTA Chairman. ‘This pilot goes directly to the heart of that goal by attacking a significant cause of failures on these cars and making a fast, targeted improvement. We also know that getting more passengers onto trains, in a more efficient manner, is absolutely essential, which is why we’re piloting the removal of select number of seats.’