13 October 2008

A New "F" Is Coming


I'm so used to the "F" train being the neglected stepchild of the MTA, I was stunned the other day when a sleek, silver number slid into the Bergen Street station. "Must be lost," I thought.

But, no. It was a shiny new "F" train, one of those nifty jobs that you get on Lexington Avenue line in Manhattan with the digital readouts; the backlit maps of the subway line; folding, Paris-Metro-like seats; and the soothing, mechanized female voice clearly announced each coming stop. It was not in service. A sign in each window said "Test Train." But surely this means these new trains are in our future! The East Village, Lower East Side, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Park Slope are moving up in the world.


29 comments:

ken mac said...

why are the trains on the C and A line so much bigger than the 1 and 9? Anybody know? I was on the C this am, clattering down from the upper west side to the village, and had forgotten how wondrously big that train is. The 1 and 9 is pure cattle car squeeze.

Jose said...

Believe it or not, sir, I'm extremely excited. Does this mean we're actually gonna get better service though? I mean, damn.

*Bitch Cakes* said...

I had to take the L this weekend and forgot how nice those trains are. I'm so used to the 7 and the G.

If I ever see one of these on the G tracks, I think I'll pass out.

Robert Cashill said...

If I ever see a G train, period, I'll pass out. As rare as Halley's Comet they are.

Hats For Bats said...

@kenmac

The A/C (and most of the lettered lines) were built by the IND and BMT subway companies, whilst the numbered lines were built by the IRT. Different tunnel/platform widths were built, before the systems merged in the 1940s. That's why an A can run over the F, but not over the 1.

Danny said...

Ken, it's because the A line and 1/9 line were originally two independently ran subway lines before all the subway lines were merged under a single entity. The tunnels for the 1/9 line do not have the hight and width to handle the trains from the other lines in the system because they were created earlier and designed for smaller train cars.

aldsjfealj said...

to ken mac: the 1 and 9 were run by a different company, which in turn made the cars smaller and the tracks curvier to prevent JP Morgan, the notorious investor from buying the subway lines

JSenk said...

Am I the only one who sort of likes the current F cars? They come off to me as very reliable, aged as they may be.

Geo said...

As nice as these new cars look, they actually have less seats than the current cars. This was done to increase the standing room and thus the MTA can pack more people in. Great news for our knees.

Jeremiah Moss said...

jsenk, you are not alone. i like the current F just fine, especially the orange decor.

Wallace said...

The new cars are too damned bright.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Can't get behind you on the old trains, guys. Especially the decor. I think we all learned from the 1970s that orange does not make for an attractive interior design elements. The new cars actually clearly let you know where you are and where you are going, through the announcements and the lighted maps. And the delightful flip-down seat make me feel like I'm in Paris.

Caroll Gardens said...

Oh, but don't you hate when someone gets up from one of those seats and they go BOOM! Everyone jumps.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Yes, I do hate that, CG. People only have to gently place their hand on it as they get up to soften its trajectory.

Anonymous said...

I rode an A train like that new one precisely one time about a 1.5 years ago and it was never seen again, so this is no guarantee of anything.

Ed said...

Anyone who thinks the F is the neglected stepchild of the MTA should spend more time on the C or the E. Now that the JMZ lines are getting some new trains, the old JMZ trains are being given to the A and E. That means the A and the E are being upgraded to 1970's technology! Highest rates of breakdowns and lowest rates of air conditioning.The E is among the dirtiest in the system and the C is among the least frequent service. The C is only 8 cars long, not 10 like the A or E (or F), but is still completely jammed at rush hour.

Quinn Hue said...

I could definitely use more standing room on the E & the F. They use the oldest cars in the system (the E) but they're the 2nd most crowded. Thankfully if I go home by Manhattan I make sure I'm at Lex/53rd before 4:55pm.

If this is normal service, I'll integrate the F into my commute all the time. The sound these trains make are extremely nice & soothing & not loud & painful.

Also those flip up seats during rush hour better not be down. Seriously unless you're a senior citizen/ walking with a cane/ etc, you're perfectly capable of standing.

& if you are sitting down, don't spread your legs out. Seriously you don't need that much space. Cross your legs. Just because you're a macho man that doesn't mean you have to discomfort everyone else.

Craig said...

they are too bright, and i HATE the automated announcements. I am gonna miss that guy.. "transfer here for A,C,N, and R trains...."

Anonymous said...

These trains are R160s, and they will be one the F soon. Train operators and conductors are being qualified for those trains so they can operate. The current F line is operated with the R46 trains. And the R160s on the A were just revenue testing which happened in 2006, but because of problems with the 3rd rail in the Rockaways, do not run on the A.

ltjamespowell said...

"I rode an A train like that new one precisely one time about a 1.5 years ago and it was never seen again, so this is no guarantee of anything." Actually that was when the R160B cars THEMSELVES were in testing. Not just for the line, a pure test. Also they're doing extensive testing in the Rockaways in an attempt to bring the R160B back to the A, this time for full service.

Anonymous said...

The R160s are not going to the (A). It's impossible. The (A) runs through poor neighborhoods populated with minorities. That already disqualifies them.

Something like that would violate the laws fo physics.

bryant said...

what kind of ignorant comment is that? are you inbred by any chance?

Rayvon said...

for your information, the A runs through a lot of very Diverse neighborhoods, such as Inwood, DUMBO and Harlem, which are not poor and full of minorities like your little brain thinks. Pitkin first tested the R160As because they, along with Jamaica, were the care takers of the R32s and the R38s, which were long overdue for replacement(either that or A is the first letter in the alphabet and the oldest IND line =P)with the R32s hitting over the 40 year mark and the R38s sounding like little kids crying when it brakes. In my opinion, the F doesn't need the R160s as of yet since it was already going to receive R179s and the R46s were overhauled twice so far =P but some lines still have 3rd rail current issues so it can't be helped I guess

Kevin Walsh said...

I'll miss the R32 cars they're scrapping, the ones with the corrugated outsides. Why? They're absolute iceboxes in the summer. Meat locker-like cold.

The newer MTA cars wimp out with AC. If it's 100 on the platform, it's about 80 on the inside of the new R142s and R160s. Not nearly cold enough.

www.forgotten-ny.com

E said...

Yup, just saw a Jamaica-bound F R160 at Kew Gardens this afternoon: car #8708

Anonymous said...

HIPSTERS AND PARK SLOPE MOMS REJOICE!
The R160s entered service in the (F) this morning!

Anonymous said...

yes, and I rode a brand new F train on Tuesday night. You could still smell the newness of the train!

Aaron said...

Hey, just wanted to let everyone know there are indeed new F trains running now, i took one last night!

Nissan Micra said...

This is good new, we are waiting for new brand train.