ON December 28 New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority ordered an initial build of 100 large profile metro cars for its L-Canarsie subway line connecting lower Manhattan with Brooklyn. This route is to be the testbed for transmission-based train control over the next few years. The US$190m contract awarded to Kawasaki Rail Car Inc includes an option for another 112 cars which is expected to be exercised later this year.

The R143 cars will be assembled at the firm’s Yonkers, New York, plant and will be delivered in 2001. Kawasaki is already assembling 400 small-profile R142 cars in a joint order split with Bombardier, and was provisionally selected for the R143 contract a few months ago. The contract is regarded as the first step in the replacement of around 1300 large-profile cars that have been in service in New York for nearly 40 years.