Last December, The MTA announced that after 58 years of service, the R-32 trains (also known as the Brightliners) were retiring. These trains at the time were some of the oldest operating subway cars in the world.
And though the R-32 trains stopped running on NYC tracks this past January, the MTA just announced that six of the recently retired cars will truly embark on their last journey, but over water!
These six cars have set sail across the Hudson River aboard a very large Port Authority barge to Jersey City. Upon arrival in Jersey City, the trains will be placed onto CSX freight trains to be shipped to their final destination of Ohio.
It took four days total for the car bodies to be disassembled from the trucks in an NYNJ rail yard for transport.
“As we continue the work to modernize the transit system and improve the customer experience, it is truly bittersweet to say farewell to a fleet of historic R-32 trains that have served New Yorkers for nearly six decades,” said New York City Transit Interim President Craig Cipriano after their first retirement announcement. “A significant amount of history goes along with these trains.”
The R-32s first debuted in 1964, and were actually the first large fleet of mass-produced stainless-steel cars purchased by New York City Transit. They can be seen in movies like Bridge of Spies (2015), Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) and Joker (2019), and are the very last subway car class in service to have a front window that passengers can look out of.
Farewell, R-32s! Thanks for your service.