I loved riding the R-32's. There was something special about riding in a subway car that was old enough to be considered an antique. And they still rode well, and had plenty of acceleration.
They're also pretty close to the M-3 "Almond Joy" cars I grew up with on the Market-Frankford El. I can still remember watching 'em coming out of the portal at Front and Arch, headed for Bridge Street.
On Monday, September 14, 1964 (the Monday after Labor Day) I was living Sheepsheaed Bay, Brooklyn at that time. I was 19 and about to start my first day employed at Columbia Records at 799 7th Av. corner of 52nd St. I entered the Northbound platform and proceeded to walk toward the back of the platform. As I looked down the track I saw a pair of bright headlights coming toward me. Expecting to see the usual set of Tri-plex D type subway cars I was totally surprised to see a train of what turned out to be a brand new train of R32 subway cars. I knew nothing about them as I never even saw or heard anything about them in either the newspapers or on the tv or radio news. The bodies were so bright with the morning sun (at about 8:15 am) shinning on them I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The doors opened and wow the interiors were just a beautiful. The doors closed and and wow the pickup speed was the fastest that I had even felt. When the train arrived at the last stop W.57th St. there was a band playing on the platform and the employees of the T.A. were handing out color picture postcards of one of the set of R32s in the New York Central Mott Haven train yard. I took two of the post cards and proceeded to exit at the 55th St end of the station. An employee on the station platform told me that this train was the first revenue run the these new cars. Wow again to be on the first train of R32 cars to carry paying passengers has made them to this day one of my two favorite models of subway cars just after my all time favorite the Tri-plex D type subway cars. Bill Wall told me last year that he is trying to have saved the 8 lowest numbered cars #3350-3351 3352-3353, 3356-3357. 3358-3359 or the lowest numbers that are still in service when they are officially retired. I hope Bill can have them saved and a fan trip can follow later this year or soon after.
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