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R143/160 Subway Car
MTA/New York City Transit
  • Year
  • 2001/2006
  • Type
  • Exterior and Interior Design

The R143 subway car is designed for New York City Transit’s “L” Line. It is the first new technology train for the system’s IND/BMT division, which has different equipment standards from the IRT division, necessitating a different design from the one we developed for the R142 car. Most noticeably, the cars are longer and wider with a new design for the front, based on a different type of structure. The same set of design criteria from the R142 project was applied with this design. As pictured here, we also produced a full-scale model of a car for customer research and press events. In addition to a series of focus groups, several hundred people had the opportunity to “try” the model and give their feedback on the new design.

The R160 is an evolution of the R143, also for the IND/BMT division. A new design feature is the electronic interior route/stop display sign, called FIND (Flexible Information Display). It consists of a multicolor LCD screen displaying route and destination and a multicolor LED strip map. The strip map always displays the next ten stations and additionally five “further stops” cycling through all remaining stations. Each car has three FIND displays. The fully dynamic strip map allows the conductor to reprogram the route display on the fly, an important feature for New York’s subway system, where it is not uncommon for trains to get re-routed. A new vertical pole with a looped middle section gives passengers more areas to hold on to. Wall coverings in particularly exposed areas, such as the bulkhead and the window shroud, are finished in scratch resistant textured stainless steel.

Press & Awards
Design Distinction, Concepts, ID Magazine Annual Design Review, 1999
MTA/NYCT R143 Subway Car
Interiors Magazine
Train of Thought - 143 Subway Car, April 1999