Thursday, February 13, 2020

St. Louis Car Company's R42s Takes Its Final Stroll Along The (A) Line

St. Louis Car Company's R42s Takes Its Final Stroll Along The (A) Line

NEW YORK, NY- Yesterday (02/12/2020), the MTA and the New York Transit Museum performed a final trip of the 1969 R42, which was manufactured by the St. Louis Car Company. The train took its last ride along the (A) Line from Euclid Av to Far Rockaway, then all the way up to 207th St, and lastly back to Euclid Avenue. Everyone attended the event from schoolkids, to MTA employees, to grown-up adults. Even the outgoing NYCT President, Andy Byford attended the event.

The R42s made their service debut back on May 9th, 1969 on the (N) subway line as part of a mixed consist with the R40Ms. These were the first subway cars to have air conditioning system units, just like the last ten R38s (4140-4149) and all R40 Slants/Mods. It was the last 60-foot (18.29 m) B Division car built for the New York City Subway until the R143 in 2001, and the last car model class to be built in married pairs. The R42s were also the first cars to use solid state converters in place of the motor-generators as standard equipment, and were also the last cars to be equipped with the tried-and-true, and extremely reliable WABCO RT-2 or SMEE braking system temporarily, until returning in 1983 with the R62s for the IRT division, after disastrous results with the newer WABCO RT-5 or P-Wire braking systems used on their R44s and R46s cars of the 1970s. The second oldest cars were created in 1969, along with the debut of Sesame Street, Woodstock drew over 350,000 people to a farm in upstate New York, and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. Lastly, if you’re a New York Mets fan, then this is your year because this was the year that the Amazins won their first World Series title. The R42s served the B-division well and proud, both BMT and IND.

The R-42 were featured in the famous “car vs. subway chase” in William Friedkin’s 1971 thriller The French Connection. The two cars, #4572 and #4573 became part of New York Transit Museum’s collection. Between 1988 and 1989, the R42s underwent overhaul as a result of deferred maintenance in the New York City Subway during the 1970s and the 1980s. The R42s suffered major accidents on the Williamsburg Bridge (1995) and the Chambers Street (BMT Nassau Street Line) station. The R160s replaced most the R42s between 2006-2010, except for forty cars. The last R42 cars were replaced by the R179s. The cars that were a part of the farewell trip yesterday were 4790–4791, 4796–4797, 4806–4807, 4826–4827, and 4830–4831 as a ten-car unit. The R42s will be dearly missed. Long live the St. Louis Car Company R42s (1969-2020). The last time they were farewell trips were with the R33s (7 Line-2003), R38 (C Line-2009), and R40 (A Line-2009).
How did you enjoy the R42’s final trip? Also check out these photos down below. Also in other news, the 8th Avenue bound side of the 1st Avenue station entrance opened this past week on 14th Street and Avenue A in the East Village. The 1st Avenue entrance will close soon for repairs as part of improvements for the (L) line.

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