R21 (New York City Subway car)

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NYCS R21 route sign.jpg
A graffiti-covered R21 train on the "5" train.
In service1956–1987
ManufacturerSt. Louis Car Company
Built atSt. Louis, Missouri
Number built250
Number in service(2 in work service)
Number preserved2
Number scrapped238 (+8 in storage)
FormationSingle unit cars
Fleet numbers7050–7174 (General Electric)
7175–7299 (Westinghouse)
Capacity44 (seated)
Operator(s)New York City Transit Authority
Car body constructionLAHT Carbon steel
Car length51 ft 0.5 in (15.56 m)
Width8 ft 9 in (2,667 mm)
Height11 ft 10 in (3,607 mm)
Doors6 sets of 50 inch wide side doors per car
Maximum speed55 mph (89 km/h)
WeightGeneral Electric cars:
77,607 lb (35,202 kg)
Westinghouse cars:
78,604 lb (35,654 kg)
Traction systemWestinghouse 1447C or General Electric 1240A4
Power output100 hp (75 kW) per traction motor
Electric system(s)600 V DC Third rail
Current collection methodTop running Contact shoe
Braking system(s)WABCO ME42A
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The R21 was a New York City Subway car built by St. Louis Car Company from 1956 to 1957 for the IRT A Division.


The R21s were numbered 7050-7299. They were similar to the R17s, except that they featured windows of a slightly different design. The cab doors were mounted the same way as the newer R62/R62A subway cars; however this was not repeated on the next order for R22 subway cars, which reverted to the normally mounted cab doors.

There were two versions of the R21: Westinghouse Electric-powered cars (7050-7174) and General Electric-powered cars (7175-7299).

The first set of R21s was placed in service on the 1 train on November 7, 1956. They remained in service until December 1987, when they were replaced by the R62As.


Car 7194 (renumbered to 0R714) on display at the New York Transit Museum
Car 7203, rebuilt for use in the film Money Train and numbered 51050. After production, the car was donated to the New York Transit Museum.

The R62A fleet started replacing the R21s in the 1980s, and their final day in revenue service was on December 30, 1987.

The majority of the fleet was scrapped, but some R21s have been set aside for preservation over the years, including:

  • 7194 - converted to R95 revenue collection car 0R714. The car was retired in 2006 and is now preserved by the New York Transit Museum. This car is currently the only operating R21 on MTA property.[1]
  • 7203 - rebuilt as the "money train" in the 1995 American crime thriller film Money Train by Columbia Pictures, and given the car number designation 51050. After production, this car was donated to the New York Transit Museum. It is currently in storage at the Coney Island Complex.[2]

As of 2016, two other R21s survive as work cars, including:

  • 7121 - converted to R71 hose reach car P7121 and overhauled under the R159 program.[3]
  • 7287 - converted to R71 de-icer car RD345 and overhauled under the R159 program. This car is currently located at the Westchester Yard.[4]

Car 7267 is currently at Concourse Yard coupled up to R17 6895 (Renumbered to 36895) and is classified as a garbage motor. The mechanical condition of 7267 is unknown, and both cars have not been moved since 2002. In 2009, the car was stripped of parts, such as sash windows and roll signs. As of June 2016, 7267, along with R17 6895, are awaiting scrapping.[5]

Cars 7234, 7241, 7269, 7276, and 7287 were converted to R71 rider cars after retirement, but were replaced with R161s (R33s converted to rider cars) in the mid-2000s and eventually reefed.[6]

Cars 7055, 7210, 7211, 7243, 7278, 7289, and 7296 were converted to R123 continuous welded rail holder cars for set CCR and overhauled under the R128 program.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Showing Image 75365". Nycsubway.org. October 6, 2007. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  2. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org.
  3. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org.
  4. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org.
  5. ^ "Showing Image 3268". Nycsubway.org. March 15, 2002. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  6. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org.
  7. ^ "www.nycsubway.org". www.nycsubway.org.

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