The first of the futuristic R211 subway trains were phased into service on the A line in March 2023. Yet just six month later, 6 out of the 7 newest train cars have been pulled from service. The MTA confirmed with Gothamist that this was due to faulty gearboxes.
“During routine operations of R211 subway cars in service, New York City Transit crews discovered a faulty gear box in some of the cars,” Eugene Resnick, an MTA spokesperson, wrote to Gothamist in an email. “As is the case whenever we identify an issue with a particular subway car model, we have temporarily removed the affected trains from service until further testing is complete.”
Likened to gears on a bike, malfunctioning gearboxes on a subway can make the wheels lock and drag. This can result in a jolting, noisy commotion as the train moves along the tracks.
The MTA assured Gothamist that no A train service would be affected. Moreover, the order for 640 more new train cars is still out as part of the MTA’s “Fast Forward” plans to update the subway with 50 years worth of upgrades in just 10 years.
R211 cars intended to speed up service and give passengers a more modern experience. Each new car is equipped with high-tech features such as security cameras, digital displays and brighter lighting and signage.
The news of faulty gearboxes comes shortly after the announcement of brand new R211 trains set to hit the Staten Island Railway.