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Steve Ember


Pro Member

Gold and Silver - Contrasts on the New York City Subway

No, the New York City Subway system has not taken to
gold-plating older trains to make the ride seem more luxurious…

But this contrast between the (possibly) 50 year old R-32 Z train bound for Manhattan and the more modern lines of the R-160A Queens-bound M train at the Marcy Avenue station in Brooklyn was not just a manifestation of subway train evolution but also of the exquisite palette of Mother Nature.

A summer storm had just passed during rush hour on this summer afternoon and, in its wake came that inviting combination of slate blue-gray skies and low angle shafts of golden sunlight from the west. Interestingly, the shaft of after-storm sun was favoring the R-32 equipment, which is truly in its golden years of service, the oldest of the Budd-built fleet dating from 50 years ago.

The smoother, quieter, and high-tech R-160A cars, built by Alstom in U.S. plants, with their dynamic "FIND" electronic route-progress displays offer a more modern ride experience. Will they one day claim 50 year service records, or will continuing rail car developments on the MTA decree a shorter lifespan? Time will tell…

Meanwhile, a toast to the stolid R-32s… to the New Technology Trains of the R-160 class…
and to Mother Nature for providing this “Gold and Silver” moment on the New York City Subway.

©2017 Steve Ember

Comments 1

  • Hans-Gerd Hacker 07/13/2017 18:56

    Great foto...old and new near together...then the different looks, the new one silver, the old one gold.It's very special and have wait for the right moment. Nice also the red capped man in the middle window and
    the Motor-Woman !
    Kind Regards,
    HG