NYMTA Launches First Open Gangway Train into Service


Photo by Marc A. Hermann / MTA

NY Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced the rollout of R211T open gangway subway cars on the C Line, running between Washington Heights and East New York, and marked significant progress toward increasing cameras throughout the system, with 1,000 subway cars now equipped with cameras. The unveiling was followed by an inaugural ride starting at the 168 St A, C, 1 station in Washington Heights, which serves as the C Line’s terminal.

“The subway is the lifeblood of New York City, and we’re making record investment so it’s safe, efficient, and successful,” said Gov. Hochul. “New train cars, additional security cameras, and more reliable service will make the subway system even better for decades to come.”

The inaugural ride marks the first time an open gangway train has operated in the modern history of subways in the U.S. The Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT), one of three operating authorities that were precursors to the amalgamated New York City Transit, ran three-car open gangway segments from 1925 to 1965.

“The average age of MTA subway cars is 25 years old, and our oldest subway car, the R46, is nearly 50 years old. As the 20-year Needs Assessment pointed out, the MTA needs to acquire thousands of cars; they need to be the most innovative designs and be eligible for federal funding,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “This pilot program will teach us if the open gangway design works for New Yorkers.”

The open gangway R211T pilot cars are part of a larger order of R211A conventional 60-foot cars, funded by FTA, which includes funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. The R211 cars feature 58-inch-wide door openings that are eight inches wider than standard door openings on the existing car fleet. In addition, these cars provide additional accessible seating, digital displays that will provide more detailed station-specific information, and brighter lighting and signage, among other features to improve the customer experience.