Islanders Score with the Sound of NYCT Subways

New York hockey fans are hearing something familiar – and a little surprising - at Islander home games this season: the sound of a subway horn many stories above ground.

With the New York Islanders’ move from Nassau Coliseum on Long Island to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the team sought out New York City Transit to help drive home the big change in venue that happens to be on top of a major transportation hub for subways and Long Island Rail Road. The solution: a subway horn to herald Islanders’ goals.

Two senior Transit managers who also happened to be Islanders fans stepped up.

“They came to us in June, and within a few weeks we had a prototype ready,” said John Santamaria, assistant chief mechanical officer, car equipment, NYCT Subways, who teamed up with Tom Kropas, his counterpart in the electronic maintenance division. 

Santamaria provided an assortment of subway horns from the R160 class of subway cars, and together with Kropas, they helped the Barclays crew figure out how to incorporate the horns into a wireless solution that would work for the arena. The tie-in with R160s is particularly fitting, since those cars are in use on the C SubwayE SubwayF SubwayJ SubwayL SubwayM SubwayQ SubwayZ Subway lines, many of which serve the area around Barclays Center.

“We sat down with their in-house engineers and gave them the technical oversight,” Santamaria said.

Santamaria said he was thrilled to play a small part in the Islanders’ homecoming at Barclays given his affection for the team and his professional role at New York City Transit. The move to Barclays means that New York City fans will no longer have to drive to Nassau Coliseum for games, and Long Island-based fans are a quick and direct train ride to the arena. Several bus routes and subway lines also serve the arena.

"We're delighted to support the Islanders' ongoing efforts to promote taking the train the games at Barclays Center,” said Mark Heavey, director of MTA’s marketing and corporate communications. “Use of our subway train horn sound to celebrate each Islanders' goal is a fitting metaphor for how our customers win when they choose public transit.”

The R160 horn sounds when the Islanders score a goal during home games. For a schedule of 2015-2016 Islander games, visit the New York Islanders’ official site. For general information on the R160 class of subway cars, visit the MTA website.