Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
R32 (New York City Subway car)
The R32 rapid transit cars, nicknamed Brightliners, are a New York Subway car model built in 1964-1965 by the Budd Company in Philadelphia for IND and BMT service. These cars were the first mass-produced stainless steel cars built for the NYC Subway.
The designation R32 is derived from the contract number under which the cars were purchased. They were originally assigned to BMT Southern Division service only, initially on the Brighton Beach Line Express service (Q train) and the Sea Beach Line (N train), later seeing service as well on the West End Line (T and TT trains).
In 1963, the New York City Transit Authority contracted with Budd for 600 IND/BMT cars (300 pairs), to replace older equipment, including the BMT D-type (Triplex) articulated cars. Budd had bid on previous contract with the NYCTA, but had never won a City contract for a production run of cars until the R32s, as Budd built only stainless-steel equipment, and the TA refused to allow a differential in competitive bids for this higher-quality construction.
Budd won the contract by coming in with the absolute low bid of ~USD117,000. Budd low-balled the price to win the contract and introduce stainless steel equipment to the modern New York City system. They were successful insofar the TA allowed a premium for future stainless steel contracts, and all subsequent subway equipment was at least partly stainless construction, but Budd did not win another contract for New York City subway equipment.
The R32s are no longer referred to as R32 and R32As. They are currently referred to as R32 Phase I, R32 Phase II and R32 GE. The R32 Phase I cars (re-built by Morrison Knudsen) have WABCO Air Brake packages, GE Master Controllers (Throttle) and Thermoking HVAC units. The R32 Phase II cars (also re-built by Morrison Knudsen) have NY Air Brake equipment, Westinghouse Master Controllers and Stone Safety HVAC units. Since the cars were sent out to overhaul based on how poorly they were performing (bad cars first) there are regular R32s and R32As which are Phase I and Phase II. There are also about a dozen or more pairs which are comprised of R32 and R32A mixes.
Today the R32 continues to provides reliable service, almost 40 years after their introduction, despite a nominal useful service life of 35 years. They can be found on the , , and services.
It is possible that the R32's will endure until the 2010s. Their durable all-stainless construction will be a factor, demonstrating that a premium for such construction was warranted. Ironically, the Budd Company's gambit in providing the cars at a low bid did not pay off, as they never won another contract for NYCTA subway equipment and they now no longer produce railroad cars.
The R32s are numbered 3350-3949. One car is numbered 3348, it lost its even-numbered mate in an accident, so it was renumbered.
- Car Body: Stainless Steel
- Length: 60 Feet, 2.5 Inches (18.4 m)
- Height: 12 Feet, 1-5/8 Inches (3.7 m)
- Track Gauge: 4 Feet, 8.5 Inches (1.435 m)
- Weight: 79,930 lb (36,256 kg)
- Propulsion: GE SCM 17KG192E3
- Motors: Westinghouse 1447JR, GE 1257E1, 115 hp (86 kW) 4/car
- Braking: WABCO RT2
- Seating: 50
- Cab Arrangement: Half-width driving cab at "A" end, half-width conductor control cab at "B" end
- Coupling/Numbering Arrangement: All married pairs.
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