Iconic New York subway cars readied for final run

New York’s iconic R32 subway cars have undergone their final makeover before a brand new fleet comes into service in 2014.

The “Brightliners”, which were first introduced on to the network in 1964, were the largest fleet of stainless steel cars purchased by New York City Transit.

The remaining 222 cars of the original 600-car fleet are now making their way through the Coney Island Overhaul Facility for final maintenance work before being replaced by a fleet of 300 new R179 cars, which are due to begin arriving in 2014.

Currently operating on the A and C lines, the cars have a distinctive ribbed sided appearance rather than the smooth sides of more modern subway cars.

“The work currently being performed on these cars will help increase customer comfort and insure service reliability until their replacements arrive,” said Carmen Bianco, senior vice president of the Department of Subways.

The project is expected to cost around $25 million and include upgrades to several major car components and systems including; air brakes, auxiliary electric, car body, couplers, car body hoses, door systems, propulsion systems, some HVAC work and trucks.

Work will also include structural enhancements and the replacement of vandalised windows.

The majority of the work is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

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