R-40 -- R-40M (St. Louis Car)

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R-40 car 4425 mid-consist on the "A" line at 190th Street/Overlook Terrace. Photo by David Pirmann, April 2009.


Designation Original Numbers End Style A/C as built? Current Numbers Manufacturer Years
R-40 4150-4249 Slant Fans Same St. Louis Car 1967-69
R-40A 4250-4349 Straight (Modified) Air Cond 4450-4549 St. Louis Car 1967-69
R-40 4350-4449 Slant Fans 4250-4349 St. Louis Car 1968-69
R-40A 4450-4549 Slant Air Cond 4350-4449 St. Louis Car 1968-69
  • Cab Arrangement: Half-width driving cab at "A" end, half-width conductor control cab at "B" end
  • Coupling/Numbering Arrangement: All married pairs.
  • Stainless steel
  • 60' long, 10' wide
  • Mismatched pairs: 4426 & 4429, 4258 & 4261, 4460 (R40M) & 4665 (R42)

Slanted grab irons only (1968)

Low handholds (1968)

Low handholds and pantograph gates (1968)

High handholds (1969)

High handholds and chains, but still relatively clean (1969)

The low point (1981)

R-40M as delivered (1969)

R-40M after gates were installed (1981)


The futuristic front end of the R-40 cars, as delivered, was designed by Raymond Loewy. The slant front end soon proved to be impractical and dangerous for passengers to pass from car to car. Attempts to improve the safety of the slanted ends immediately resulted in disastrous changes to their appearance. Throughout 1968 and the course of the cars' delivery, the simple handholds were first augmented with larger protruding handhelds, pantograph gates, and finally, even larger (higher) handholds. (The metalwork and chains did not age well during the life of the R-40 car, turning the once futuristic cars into ugly ducklings.) By April 1968 it had already been decided that even such modifications were not a solution, and the 100 remaining cars on the order were redesigned. The modified ends were designed by the design firm of Sundberg-Ferar, which also designed the MTA "Metropolitan" (M1) cars for the MTA commuter railroads, and the R-44/R-46 front ends. The R-40 "M" cars retained their smooth front, blue belt rail paint, and large rollsigns until circa 1979-1980 when the signs were changed (to the MTA color bullets) and pantograph gates were installed. "R-40M" was not an official designation, although it is now in common use to distinguish the R-40 cars with the modified (non-slant) end design.

4150-4249, 4350-4449 (present numbers 4150-4349) were built under Contract R-40, and 4250-4349, 4450-4549 (present numbers 4350-4549) under Contract R-40A. The fleets were renumbered in January, 1970, such that all of the slant-end cars were numbered in order (with the side effect at the time of also numbering the cars without, and with, air conditioning in order too).

Cars rebuilt 1987-1989 by Sumitomo. During the overhaul, air conditioning was added to the slant-end cars that did not have it (4150-4249, 4250-4349).

Last Run of the R-40 Slant-front Cars: 6/12/2009, cars: N-4425-4424-4415-4414-4398-4399-4257-4256-4433-4432-S, on the "A" line.

Last Runs of the R-40 Modified-front Cars: All remaining R-40Ms were cut out of their mixed R-40M/R-42 consists the week of August 25th, 2009. The last cars in service were as follows: 4544/4545 (8/25 on V), 4546/4547 (8/26 on R), 4510/4511 (8/26 on R), 4530/4531 (8/26 on R), 4460/4665 (8/27 on V), 4540/4541 (8/27 on V), 4484/4485 (8/28 on V). Last revenue train containing R-40M cars was (N)-4752/4753-4660/4461-4485/4484-4720/4721-4763/4762-(S), on the V, Friday morning, August 28, 2009. Laid up at Jamaica Yard after the AM rush. Two R-40M pairs (4506/4507 and 4518/4519) were assigned to the Refuse Train (based 38th Street) on or about July 14, 2009 and remained active as non-revenue equipment through September 2, 2009, but were "reefed" 9/26/2009.



R-40 drawing from NYCT Revenue & Non-Revenue Car Drawings.

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NOTE: Due to the R-40 and R-40M cars having been renumbered, the photos indicate the car number when the photo was taken. So some of the photos will show R-40 and R-40M cars with the same numbers, taken before and after the renumbering. Where known, the original number of the car is indicated in the photo caption.

Car Notes

Green Preserved, saved for preservation,
or exists in some state
Yellow Converted to work service
(and later scrapped or still in use)
Red Wrecked/Damaged in accident (and possibly repaired),
or scrapped prior to the bulk of the type

Number Notes
4150-4249, 4350-4449 Delivered with fans; air conditioning installed later.

Image 131157

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Photo by: Ed Watson/Arthur Lonto Collection
Collection of: Frank Pfuhler

4162-4163 Was East New York Yard school car. Scrapped in 2013.

Image 96114

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Photo by: Robert Mencher
Location: East New York Yard/Shops

4200-4201 Accident one of the Jamaica Bay bridges on the Rockaway Line, 1971.

Image 5158

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Photo by: Steve Zabel
Collection of: Joe Testagrose
Location: Coney Island Yard

Image 5159

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Photo by: Steve Zabel
Collection of: Joe Testagrose
Location: Coney Island Yard

4248 Involved in collision at Dyckman St in the 1980s. Repaired and returned to service.
4259 Hit by "M" train outside 9th Avenue, 2/5/1995. Was worked on in Coney Island shops for years but never returned to service. Moved to SBK yard for scrapping, 7/20/2007.

Image 5199

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Photo by: Peter Dougherty
Location: Coney Island Yard

Image 31753

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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: Coney Island Shop/Overhaul & Repair Shop

Image 31754

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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: Coney Island Shop/Overhaul & Repair Shop

Image 71583

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Photo by: Michael Hodurski
Location: 2nd Avenue (SBK)

4260 Derailed in tunnel near 9th Avenue, 8/15/1994.
4280-4281 On display at New York Transit Museum, November 2009. Part of "Train of Many Metals" nostalgia fleet.

Image 107062

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Photo by: Anthony Maimone
Location: New York Transit Museum

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Photo by: Anthony Maimone
Location: New York Transit Museum

4318-4333 Temporarily renumbered CB-20 to CB-35 (in order) to reflect an ongoing Cobra brake shoe test. These cars could only run with like modified cars.

Image 5376

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Photo by: Doug Grotjahn
Collection of: Joe Testagrose
Location: Times Square/42nd Street

4323 Sustained fire damage at Pitkin Yard at some unknown time. Repaired and returned to service.
4351-0,4359-8,4352-3,4354-5 First R-40 train in revenue service, on the "F", March 23, 1968. Slanted-end doors initially were unlocked but by April 5, the danger was obvious and they remained locked. By mid-April it was definite that the car ends would be redesigned.

Image 5227

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4384 Was painted white along exterior indentation.
4392 Used as school car in Rockaway Park Yard but ultimately scrapped.

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4416 Experimental robin's egg blue interior.
4420-4421 4420 involved in accident with R-6 1236 in the Smith St. Tunnel lower level between 7th Ave. and Church Ave. on 2/12/1973.
4427-4428 Collision at Bushwick/Aberdeen, 1/8/1996. Scrapped, 2001.

Image 5254

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Photo by: Michael Pompili
Location: SBK Yard (2nd Ave at 38th St.) (SBK)

Image 5255

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Photo by: Michael Pompili
Location: SBK Yard (2nd Ave at 38th St.) (SBK)

4442-4443 Concourse Yard School Car.

Image 101200

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Photo by: David Tropiansky
Location: Concourse Yard

4460 Preserved for NYTM collection, mated with R-42 4665. Former mate of 4461, see below.

Image 71546

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Photo by: Zach Summer
Location: Coney Island Yard

4461 Ran into "M" train on Williamsburg Bridge (R-42 4664), 6/5/1995. Rebuilt into a slant-front car and renumbered 4260, but never ran as such in service, as there was never a mate car available to unitize it with.

Image 5330

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Photo by: Steve Kreisler
Location: Coney Island Shop/Overhaul & Repair Shop

Image 31752

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Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: Coney Island Shop/Overhaul & Repair Shop

4486 Suffered severe damage at Sheepshead Bay in a collision with a crane. 4487 was temporarily mated with 4500 until both their mates were ultimately repaired and returned to service.
4501 Collided with R-16 6304 on "GG" train nr. Roosevelt Ave., 5/20/1970. Two passengers were killed in the R-16 subway car on the GG line. Repaired & returned to service.

Image 5346

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Photo by: Steve Zabel
Collection of: Joe Testagrose
Location: Coney Island Yard

Image 5347

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Photo by: Steve Zabel
Collection of: Joe Testagrose
Location: Coney Island Yard

4518-4533, 4534-4549 Modified When delivered, were used for testing various different new brake shoes (renumbered AS-10 to AS-25, in order, during testing). During the testing, these cars could only run with the other modified cars. After the completion of the testing, they were renumbered, along with the rest of the R-40M fleet, to 4334-4349. As far as can be determined, these tests commenced upon delivery and the cars never ran with their original numbers.

Image 5375

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Photo by: Joe Testagrose
Location: 71st/Continental Aves./Forest Hills

4524-4525 Modified These two cars were experimentally tested with varying shades of brown and orange over the entire interior. This was ultimately used on some older equipment on both divisions.

Detailed Roster

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