The newest cars on the NYC Subway (R179’s) have proven to be major headaches - a train set actually separated while in operation. So it looks like the old reliable R32’s will be returning to service for a while... sounds like they were built like post-war Lionel’s TheR32’s will be the oldest cars run on any subway system in the world (they were delivered in 1964). I road many of them growing up in the City.
I loved riding the R32's. Plenty of acceleration, and riding in a museum piece at the same time.
I always had a soft spot for the R36 “World’s Fair” cars which also came into service in ‘64. As a kid, I remember taking them to the ‘64 - ‘65 Fair and the early days at Shea Stadium. They were so bright... no exposed light bulbs, fan blades, or wicker seats - no green to be seen!!!
I had the posted this several times here in the past.
I got to ride the first revenue run of the then brand new R-32 subway cars.
On the Monday after Labor Day, 1964 I was starting my first day of work at Columbia Records at 799 7th Av. corner of 52nd St., NYC. At that time I was living in the Sheepshead section of Brooklyn, NY. That morning I got onto the Sheepshead Bay station platform of the Brighton Line, walked to the south end of the platform so that I would be at the south end of the 57th St. station be at the 55th St and 7th Av. exit. While looking down the tracks expecting to see a set of Tri-plex D type subway cars when to my surprise I saw a pair of headlights and a very shinny set of subway cars coming my way. Wow was I surprised as I had not read or even heard anything about them. Inside the cars were very bright and cheerful looking. When they started to go the pickup speed was like nothing that I had felt before on any train. When we got to the 57th St. Station, in Manhattan which was the last stop there was a brass band on the platform playing music having to do NYC. The TA employees were handing our postcards showing of a set of the R-32 cars in the Mott Haven New York Central coach yards in Bronx that were going to run into Grand Central Terminal later on the day the photograph was taken. The banner of the front of the first car said "the first of 600 new subway cars for New York City".
So now 56 years later and two re-builds, 200 of the R32s are still with us usually on a stand-by basic but once again rolling along filling in for new R-179 cars for a second time.
Bill Wall, supervisor for the NYC TA hopes to have a set of up to 8 cars (4 sets) of the lowest numbered cars saved for the NYC Transit Museum to operate as part of the museum fleet.
Ed G. Along The New Haven Line Of The Metro-North Railroad And Amtrak In Westchester County, NY.