R-42 Farewell Trip

This Wednesday, February 12th, R-42 subway cars will make their final trip, ending more than 50 years of service in New York City. Please join us to say farewell to this historic fleet.


The last train of R-42 cars will travel on the A line this Wednesday, February 12th. See the approximate schedule below:

  • Departs Euclid Avenue at 10:30 AM to go to Far Rockaway, making all stops on the A line 
  • Departs Far Rockaway at 11:30 AM to go to 207 St, making all stops on the A line 
  • Departs 207 St at 1:30 PM to go back to Euclid Av, making all stops on the A line 

Route and schedule subject to change at the discretion of the train crew.


In May 1969, the first R-42 subway cars entered service on the BMT Broadway line (today’s N train) in a mixed consist train with eight modified R-40As. The R-40As and R-42s were very similar in appearance and could function together due to similar mechanical features. Although the R-42 cars had steel bodies, the cars featured painted blue accents that coordinated with the logo and corporate colors of the recently-formed MTA. 

In 1977, pantograph gates salvaged from retired R-1/9 cars were modified and installed on the R-42s, and in the late 1980s the fleet was rebuilt by Morrison-Knudsen and NYCTA overhaul shops. 

Today, the R-160 fleet has replaced most of the R-42s. Most of the retired cars from this fleet were deployed to the Atlantic Ocean to form artificial reefs. After the reefing program ended in April 2010, retired R-42s were sent to Sims Metal Management to be scrapped. New R-179 cars will replace the remainder of the R-42s.


Shop commemorative R-42 pins, posters and t-shirts at the New York Transit Museum Store, plus transit-themed toys, books, apparel, accessories, and more! 

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The New York Transit Museum has preserved a pair of R-42 cars, #4572 and #4573. Movie fans might recognize these cars from the car chase scene in William Friedkin’s 1971 movie The French Connection.

Visit the Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn to board and explore these cars! 

Plan Your Visit >


  • R-42s first rolled out in 1969, eventually totaling 400 cars in our fleet. 

  • Each R-42 car weighs more than 70,000 lbs!

  • Along with the R-32, the R-42 is the only post-war car to reach the 50-year service mark. 

  • The R-42s were the first fleet of cars to be entirely equipped with air conditioning units upon delivery.

  • R-42 cars can reach a maximum speed of 50mph.

  • R-42 cars were designed as “married pairs”, which means that the two cars are semi-permanently linked together. It was the last car type to be designed this way.