MTA New York City Transit has awarded a $90m contract to Kawasaki Rail Car Inc for another 80 R142A subway cars. They will be similar to 520 cars now in service on the Lexington Avenue line, which have proved to be one of NYCT’s most reliable fleets, achieving an average mean distance between failures of over 483000 km.

Bodyshells for the extra cars will be manufactured at Kawasaki’s new Lincoln plant in Nebraska, for final assembly at the company’s US headquarters in Yonkers. The R142A cars are almost identical to the 1030 R142 vehicles built by Bombardier.

NYCT has selected Vollmer Associates to design a $25m refurbishment of 50th Street station on its 8th Avenue line, which is due for completion in 2009. The work will include remodelling the entrances to improve security and accessibility, plus integration with Worldwide Plaza, a nearby private development. Options to provide disabled access to the northbound side of the station will be reviewed; the southbound area was made fully accessible in 1989.