In 1973 the Metropolitan Transit Authority proposed the purchase of 700 new cars for the Interborough Rapid Transit, New York City's oldest subway line. A fiscal crisis and an international trade controversy, however, delayed the arrival of the new cars for a decade. New York City's budget crisis of 1974-1976 put a hold on spending for awhile. Finally, in 1982 Contract R62 for 325 cars was awarded to low bidder Nissho-Iwai American Corp., parent of Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan, the actual car builder. Quebec-based Bombardier Ltd. beat out Pennsylvania-based Budd Co. for Contract R62A, an order for 825 very similar cars. Budd, however, complained that Canadian government financing had given Bombardier an unfair advantage, and the order was delayed until the international dispute was resolved in Bombardier's favor.
The R62/R62A cars - named for their contract numbers like all MTA subway cars - looked very much like the post-World War II cars they replaced. This was a result of two key elements of the MTA's design philosophy: standardization to permit interchangeability of parts, and an insistence on heavy components for maximum durability with minimum maintenance. What distinguished the R62 from the cars it replaced were its stainless steel skin, both inside and out; its fiberglass end caps: and air conditioning. Unlike earlier stainless cars delivered to other parts of the New York subway, the R62s dispensed with exterior striping, which had proven prone to both fading and graffiti.
The first R62 cars arrived by ship from Japan in August, 1983, but it was nearly two years later before the order was completed. The Bombardier R62As, shipped from Quebec by rail, entered service between 1984 and 1987. Today more than one thousand R62s and R62As remain a key element of the New York City subway system.
For 2006 we offer this unique transit car for the first time in 3-rail O gauge. The RailKing R62 subway set features transit stop simulation available only from M.T.H. Designed specifically for our municipal transit cars, the unique Proto-Soundr 2.0 transit program features Station Stop Proto-EffectsT, allowing you to program the train to stop automatically at designated station stops, even in Conventional Mode. When configured to run on automatic, the R62 subway stops itself at locations you define and calls out station names that you select in advance; the subway essentially runs itself. And when you program the R62 for an out-and-back route, it even reverses itself and heads back downtown when it reaches the end of the line - stopping along the way at each station to broadcast the name of the stop and the hustle and bustle of passengers coming and going.
Did You Know?
Opened on October 27, 1904, the Interborough Rapid Transit was New York's first subway; its narrower tunnels require smaller cars than the newer BMT and IND divisions.