New Subway Cars Being Put to the Test
An 11-car train of new Kawasaki R-188 subway cars recently began 30-day performance testing along the Flushing Line. The new-technology cars are part of an order for new and retrofitted cars and are the first A-division (numbered line) cars to be outfitted for Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) operation.
The 30-day test for R-188 cars began on November 9 and is the final test to observe the performance of the train set in customer service. This test is the culmination of an extensive battery of engineering tests conducted since the beginning of 2013 to verify the R-188 design and train performance. Following the successful completion of testing, NYC Transit will begin the process of accepting new cars from Kawasaki to support CBTC and the opening of the Line extension.
The cars were manufactured at Kawasaki’s plant in Yonkers, New York as part of a 473-car order, which includes 126 new cars and 380 cars retrofitted with a kit allowing them to operate along CBTC equipped right-of-way. The new cars are virtually indistinguishable from the R142A cars.
In order to pass the 30-day test, the train must operate for 30 straight days without a major mechanical failure. Should the train suffer a breakdown, the issue would have to be corrected and then the clock would start over again from day one.
As designed, the key benefits of the new train control system will be higher levels of reliability, the installation of countdown clocks, and the ability to provide increased train service by safely allowing trains to run closer together, translating to shorter waits and increased capacity.