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R38 (New York City Subway car)

R38 (New York City Subway car)

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The R38 is a New York City Subway
New York City Subway
The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and also known as MTA New York City Transit...

 car class built in 1966–1967 for the New York City Transit Authority
New York City Transit Authority
The New York City Transit Authority is a public authority in the U.S. state of New York that operates public transportation in New York City...

 to run on routes previously operated by the IND
Independent Subway System
The Independent Subway System , formerly known as the Independent City-Owned Subway System or the Independent City-Owned Rapid Transit Railroad, was a rapid transit rail system in New York City that is now part of the New York City Subway...

 and BMT. A total of 200 R38 cars were ordered.

Description


The cars were arranged in what are known as "married pairs" of two cars semi-permanently coupled together by a linkbar. Like the R32
R32 (New York City Subway car)
The R32 is a New York City Subway car model built in 1964-65 by the Budd Company in Philadelphia for the IND/BMT B Division. These cars were the first mass-produced stainless steel cars built for the New York City Subway. The two previous Budd orders, the BMT Zephyr and the R11 contract, were...

 before them, the R38 had body siding made of stainless steel.

The R38 was the first to have air conditioning
Air conditioning
An air conditioner is a home appliance, system, or mechanism designed to dehumidify and extract heat from an area. The cooling is done using a simple refrigeration cycle...

. The last 10 cars (4140–4149) were delivered with original prototype Air Conditioning in July 1967. From this point, the New York City Transit Authority
New York City Transit Authority
The New York City Transit Authority is a public authority in the U.S. state of New York that operates public transportation in New York City...

 (NYCTA) began adopting air conditioning as standard equipment on new cars.

The R38s were similar to the R32
R32 (New York City Subway car)
The R32 is a New York City Subway car model built in 1964-65 by the Budd Company in Philadelphia for the IND/BMT B Division. These cars were the first mass-produced stainless steel cars built for the New York City Subway. The two previous Budd orders, the BMT Zephyr and the R11 contract, were...

s, but had several differences, including a New York City Transit Authority
New York City Transit Authority
The New York City Transit Authority is a public authority in the U.S. state of New York that operates public transportation in New York City...

 seal on the cab ends, being half-fluted (up to the side windows) instead of fully fluted, and different interior design and number plates.

The R38s were rebuilt by General Electric at its Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

 facility in 1987–1988. During the rebuilding process, the R38s were fully equipped with air conditioning systems. Prior to rebuilding, the R38 featured curtain route signs on their bulkheads displaying the service bullet and destination similar to the R32
R32 (New York City Subway car)
The R32 is a New York City Subway car model built in 1964-65 by the Budd Company in Philadelphia for the IND/BMT B Division. These cars were the first mass-produced stainless steel cars built for the New York City Subway. The two previous Budd orders, the BMT Zephyr and the R11 contract, were...

. After rebuilding, they received Luminator flipdot
Flip-disc display
The flip-disc display is an electromechanical dot matrix display technology used for large outdoor signs, normally those that will be exposed to direct sunlight. Flip-disc technology has been used on buses across North America and Europe. It has also been used extensively on public information...

 signs that displayed the service letter only.

The R160
R160 (New York City Subway car)
The R160 is a class of 1,662 New York City Subway cars built by two different companies: Alstom Transportation and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The class was built by two manufacturers, so they are designated as "R160A" and "R160B"...

 order has replaced all of the R38 fleet. The last pair (4098+4099) made its final trip on the C
C (New York City Subway service)
The C Eighth Avenue Local is a rapid transit service of the New York City Subway. It is colored blue on route signs, station signs, and the official subway map, since it runs on the IND Eighth Avenue Line through Manhattan....

 train on March 18, 2009 and has now been scrapped.

Cars 4028 and 4029 have been preserved, repainted, and set aside for the New York Transit Museum
New York Transit Museum
The New York Transit Museum is a museum which displays historical artifacts of the New York City Subway, bus, commuter rail, and bridge and tunnel systems; it is located in a decommissioned Court Street subway station in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of New York City...

.

Popular culture


The scene on a subway train in Coming to America
Coming to America
Coming to America is a 1988 comedy film directed by John Landis. The screenplay was written by David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein, from a story by Eddie Murphy, who also stars in the film. Murphy plays an African prince, who heads to the United States in hopes of finding a woman he can marry...

was shot on an R38. Also, the opening scene of the movie Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 drama film directed by John Badham and starring: John Travolta as Tony Manero, an immature young man whose weekends are spent visiting a local Brooklyn discothèque; Karen Lynn Gorney as his dance partner and eventual friend; and Donna Pescow as Tony's former dance...

 shows a train of R38s on the B
B (New York City Subway service)
The B Sixth Avenue Express is a rapid transit service of the New York City Subway. It is colored orange on route signs, station signs, and the official subway map, since it runs over the IND Sixth Avenue Line in Manhattan....

train. Both scenes show the R38 before it was refurbished.

External links