R28 (New York City Subway car)

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R28s 7926 and 7927 on display at the Illinois Railway Museum
In service1960–2002
ManufacturerAmerican Car and Foundry
Number built100
Number preserved4
Number scrapped96
FormationSemi-Married Pairs
Fleet numbers7860-7959
Operator(s)New York City Subway
Car body constructionLAHT carbon steel
Car length51.04 feet (15.56 m)
Width8.75 feet (2,667 mm)
Height11.86 feet (3,615 mm)
Doors6 sets of 50 inch wide side doors per car
Maximum speed55 mph (89 km/h)
Weight70,000 lb (32,000 kg) (post-rebuild)
Traction systemGeneral Electric 17KG192 (7860-7909 formerly Westinghouse)
Traction motorsWestinghouse (WH) 1447J/JR, General Electric (GE) 1257F1
Power output115 hp (85.8 kW)
Electric system(s)600 V DC Third rail
Current collection methodContact shoe
Braking system(s)WABCO, "SMEE" (electrodynamic)
Coupling systemWestinghouse H2C
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The R28 was a New York City Subway car model built by American Car and Foundry (ACF) from 1960 and 1961.[1] The cars were a "follow-up" or supplemental stock for the A Division's R26s and closely resemble them. The average car cost per R28 was $114,495.[2] They operated on the IRT division in married pairs.


The R28s were numbered 7860-7959. They were the last ever passenger cars built by ACF, with the closure of the Berwick assembly plant following the delivery of the final cars delivered in January 1961.[3] ACF has since focused solely on freight rolling stock.

The first set of R28/R26s was placed in service on the 6 train on October 12, 1959. By 1982, all cars in this series have received air conditioning as part of a retrofitting program. Rebuilt by Morrison Knudsen in Hornell, New York between 1985 and 1987, the R28s were repainted as Redbirds and were the first cars to be repainted in the scheme. They re-entered service particularly on the 2 and 5 trains.


As time wore on, heavy service took their toll on these cars. The R142 and R142A car orders replaced the entire R28 fleet. The first R28s were retired in May 2001 until the last train with R28s ran on October 7, 2002, with the last pairs of R26s and two pairs of R29s (the latter of which was retired weeks later). They made their last trip on October 24, 2002 on the 5 service.[1]

After retirement, all but two pairs were stripped to help create the Redbird Reef.[1] The two pairs that were not scrapped were preserved:

  • Cars 7924-7925 are still on the New York City Subway property; this pair was previously used for work service at the Unionport Yard until July 2013, when they were moved to the Concourse Yard for storage and preservation, along with R26s 7774-7775 and R29s 8678-8679.
  • Cars 7926-7927 are preserved by the Illinois Railway Museum. They were modified with trolley poles and are sometimes operated on the museum's electrified mainline.

Route assignment history[edit]

Note: All cars became General Electric (GE) cars and became permanently paired with link bars after rebuilding.

Service Years In Service Cars
6 (1960–1966) All cars[1]
2, 4, 5 1966–1976 General Electric (GE) cars[1]
2, 5 1976–1985 General Electric (GE) cars[1]
6 1966–1985 Westinghouse (WH) cars[1]
7 1978–1985 some General Electric (GE) and Westinghouse (WH) cars as a temporary replacement for cars being sent out for air conditioning, overhaul and rebuilding[1]
2/5 1985–2002 All cars after overhaul and rebuilding[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i George Chiasson, Jr. "A Historic Perspective of the R-26, R-28, and R-29". New York City Subway Resources. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "IRT SMEE delivery dates", R36 Preservation, Inc. http://www.coronayard.com/r36preservation/irtsmeedelivery.html