End of the Year, End of an Era
R-32 Farewell Trip
R-32 subway cars are making their final trip, ending 58 years of service in New York City. Please join us to say farewell to this historic fleet.
Route & Schedule
R-32 Retirement Runs on the F/D Lines
Sundays, 10am to 5pm
December 19th and 26th, 2021 and January 2nd, 2022
Approximate Schedule for Sundays, December 19th, December 26th and January 2nd:
- Departs 2nd Avenue Station on the F line at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm, making all express stops to 145th Street Station on the D line.
- Departs 145th Street Station on the D line at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm, making all express stops to the 2nd Avenue Station on the F line.
Final Farewell Run on the Q Line
Sunday, January 9th, 2022, 10am – 6:30pm
Approximate Schedule for Sunday, January 9th, 2022:
- Departs Brighton Beach Station on the Q line at 10am, 12:30pm, 3pm, 5:30pm, making express stops on the Brighton and Broadway Lines to 96th Street Station, via the Manhattan Bridge.
- Departs 96th Street Station on the Q line at 11am, 1:30, 4pm, 6:30pm, making express stops on the Brighton and Broadway Lines to Brighton Beach Station, via the Manhattan Bridge.
Route and schedule subject to change at the discretion of the train crew.
About the R-32
This subway car is one of 600 R-32s that the Transit Authority purchased in 1964 as part of its continuing program to provide better service to the public. Known as the Brightliners, these cars were among 4,000 new cars added to the Authority’s fleet from 1953 to 1964 at a cost of $450 million ($4,661,612,359.55 in 2021 dollars.)
Each car cost $114,700 ($1,036,756.81 in 2021 dollars) and included state-of-the-art features for the comfort of passengers. These sturdy stainless steel cars were rebuilt in the 1980s as part of the General Overhaul Program. When the R-160 cars were introduced in 2006, they supplanted most of the R-32s. The remaining cars received a maintenance makeover in 2012.
Much like the Redbirds that ran on IRT services, R-32s served on many different lines – so if you rode the subway between 1964 and 2020, you probably spent some time on an R-32. After 58 years of service (the second-longest service life in New York City subway history), it’s time to bid farewell to the beloved Brightliners.
Celebrate in Subway Style
Shop vintage TA logo t-shirts, pins, patches, cufflinks and more in the New York Transit Museum Store’s Nostalgia Collection!
Preserving the R-32
The New York Transit Museum has preserved a pair of R-32 cars, #3352 and #3353. This pair led the first train of R-32s on the fleet’s ceremonial inaugural trip in 1964.
R-32 cars are not currently on view at the Transit Museum. Plan your visit to explore more than twenty other vintage trains, representing more than a century of New York’s transit history.
Did You Know?
- 600 R-32 cars were built by the Budd Company. It was the largest order of NYC Subway cars at the time!
- R-32 cars were nicknamed “Brightliners” because of their molded, washboard-like stainless steel exteriors.
- R-32 cars have served New Yorkers for 58 years. This is the second longest service life in New York City subway history.
- Each car weighed 70,000 pounds when delivered, about 4,000 pounds lighter than other new subway cars at the time.
- R-32s were introduced with a ceremonial trip that originated at New York Central Railroad’s Mott Haven Yard in the Bronx and ended at Grand Central Terminal, where they were greeted with a 20-piece Transit Authority marching band. No subway car had traveled that route before. Joseph O’Grady, Chairman of the New York City Transit Authority, chose the route to show that “subways are railroads too.” The only change needed to run these subway cars on this route were the contact shoes.
- Many of these cars saw a new life in retirement, recycled as part of the MTA’s 2001-2010 artificial reef program off the Eastern Seaboard.