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These Historic 1969 Subway Cars Are Taking Their Final Ride This Morning

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

These Historic 1969 Subway Cars Are Taking Their Final Ride This Morning

From time to time the MTA has to put subway cars into “retirement” when they get too old for service or more modern designs replace them.

And now it’s time for the historic 1969 R-42 cars to take their final ride! Today (Wednesday, February 12) the last of these trains will be making their run on the A line.

The R-42s made up 400 of the MTA’s total fleet after they became part of the subway system in 1969, the organization shared. They served the BMT Broadway Line (now, the N line). They are one of only two post-war train types to reach the 50-year service mark (the other was the R-32, which still runs on the A and C lines).

They were also the first car type to be completely air-conditioned right from when they were first built!

There were only about 50 of the R-42 cars left in service over the past 10-13 years, as most were retired between 2006-2009 and some are now in the Atlantic Ocean getting a second life during the MTA’s artificial reef program.

Another fun fact: the R-42 trains were featured in the iconic “car vs. subway chase” scene in the 1971 thriller The French Connection. Those two cars are still part of New York Transit Museum’s collection.

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So, if you’re on an A train this morning, give the car a pat on the side and thank it for its service!

Their approximate schedule, making all stops along the A line, will be:

  • Departing Euclid Avenue at 10:30am toward Far Rockaway
  • Departing Far Rockaway at 11:30am to go to 207 St.
  • Departing 207 St. at 1:30pm to go back to Euclid Ave

featured image source: NY Transit Museum