Open-gangway subway cars on the way but not to the No. 7 line

New gangway subway cars are included in Gov. Cuomo’s plan for the MTA—but don’t look for them on the No. 7 subway line.
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Riders of the beleaguered No. 7 subway line have been dreaming of open-gangway subway cars for years as an answer to the chronic over-crowding on their trains. When Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that he has a plan that will bring 1,025 new subway cars, including 750 “Open Car End” designed cars, to the MTA, hope ran high on social media.

But the new cars, which are designed to increase capacity, will not roll on the No. 7 subway line because they wouldn’t fit and the line recently received new cars, according to the MTA. The open-gangway cars won’t run on any numbered lines but only on the lettered lines, according to the MTA.

“That’s a shame, because they are really wonderful,” 7 Train Blues founder Melissa Orlando said.

The open-gangway subway cars have a new design that replaces the door between cars with an accordian-like connector that eliminates separation between cars and increases capacity by as much as 10 percent. It creates longer, open spaces, allowing for greater passenger flow, and they are growing more popular in London, Paris and Toronto.

“I’m really happy for New York City Transit that they are getting these wonderful new cars but it’s disappointing to know we won’t be getting them,” 7 Train Blues Founder Melissa Orlando said. “Even when the new CBTC signal system is up and running in 2017 and we will have two extra trains each hour, we still won’t have enough capacity for the growing population explosion in western Queens where all of our lines are pushed to the limit.”

The new cars and major station renovations were announced as part of the MTA’s $27 billion, five-year capital plan.

“New York deserves a world-class transportation network, worthy of its role as the heartbeat of the 21st century economy,” Cuomo said. “The MTA design team developed a bold and visionary reimagining of the quintessential commuter experience, incorporating best practices from global transit systems, and focusing on our core mission to renew, enhance and expand.”

The new cars will also feature much wider doors to reduce delays by allowing passengers to enter and exit more quickly, a host of new amenities including WiFi, USB chargers and customer information displays and security cameras to promote passenger safety. The exterior will include a new blue front with large windows, LED headlights, and a blue stripe with gold accents along the sides.

“The governor gave the MTA a mandate to implement new, world-class designs as quickly as possible for all new subway cars and that’s what you’re seeing today -- innovation making the lives and commutes of all New Yorkers easier,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said.”

The initiative includes a new and improved design standard for subway stations. Extensive renovations are planned for 31 stations across the five boroughs, but it is not clear which stations in Queens will be selected or when any projects would begin. .

“We are going to do more than renovate, we are bringing subway stations to a higher standard than ever before,” Cuomo said.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, July 25, 2016
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Reader feedback

Jason from Queens says:
The line is likely not going to see new cars for another 20 years at the least because of the new rolling stock and reworked converted R142A cars we just received. You should know better, Parry. This is a non-story.

The prototype for the gangway design probably wouldn't even be ready until 2020 at the least while CBTC on the Flushing line should be on its way by next year or so.
July 25, 2016, 7:47 am
AMH says:
I suspect the 11-car configuration used on the Flushing Line would be tricky. Perhaps two 5-unit articulated segments plus a single stand-alone car?
July 25, 2016, 8:56 am
Samuel from St. Albans says:
The average life of a subway car is 40 years, and the oldest cars now -- for the numbered lines, which use the smaller cars -- came in the mid 1980s. So even those have about ten years left before you should expect to see anything new on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 trains.

The 7 trains received sets that were in service since 2000, so they have half a service life to go. And since they're the only cars for the numbered lines equipped with CBTC, it's a done deal; there will be no more swapping of cars.
July 25, 2016, 9:36 am
muphy beds from queens says:
Logic says put in Murphy beds so the homeless can live there with their free wifi.
July 25, 2016, 9:41 am
Emilio Soto from Briarwood says:
Back in the 70"s when Flushing was not so Asian as it is now,we called the No.7 the Shanghai line because Asian will eat in the cars,throw their newspapers and still do the same in overcrowd cars because Authorities had neglected the No.7.Flushing needs a TOTAL re-design and teach these Asian to be part of our city and respect our way lo living.Asian getting too many preferences and they are not part of our Community or City.
July 25, 2016, 12:28 pm
Disgusted from Bayside says:
It's apparent that Emilio Soto's doesn't like Asian people. Wonder what kind of people DOES he consider to be part "his" community / "his" city? What is "his / their" way of living? NYC (as is the United States of America) is a melting pot of ALL kinds of people. Ignorant racists like him don't know how (or even want to) to promote peace & harmony --- no wonder the shape of the world is in the condition it's in.
July 25, 2016, 1:02 pm
deport from queens says:
Deportation is the answer to overcrowding on the 7 train, not new trains!
July 25, 2016, 4:23 pm
Sam Pearce from Queens says:
Flushings great the way it is. Excellent food and shopping. Much more exciting than it used to be.
July 27, 2016, 3:33 pm
Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. says:
At least the 7 Train Riders will get the R188 subway cars as well as CBTC along the IRT Flushing Line as a major consolation prize, with more trains and more frequent service.
July 29, 2016, 11:51 am

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