The R211 is a type of subway car that is to be built by for the New York City Subway B Division. A total of 200 cars, classified as R211A, will replace the 75-foot long R46 subway cars and last of the R32 subway cars. The MTA will replace the R44 cars on the Staten Island Railway with 75 cars, classified as R211S. A prototype set of 10 cars, classified as R211T, will be used to evaluate open gangways.
A request for proposals (RFP) was issued on July 22, 2016 for up to 1,545 new B Division subway cars. The base order consists of 10 R211T (open gangway prototype) cars, 75 R11S (Staten Island) cars, and 200 R211A (NYCT) cars. There are two options: 740 NYCT cars and 280 to 520 NYCT cars. The contract is expected to be awarded in mid-2017. Prior to the RFP, the MTA had considered a total of 1025 cars broken down as follows: a base order of 565 R211A cars and option of 375, 75 R211S cars, and 10 R211T cars.
In August 2017, it was announced that Bombardier Transportation has been excluded from bidding on the R211 contract. This comes after major delays to the R179 contract, which they were awarded in 2012. CRRC Corporation and Bombardier had planned to make a joint bid for the R211 contract. Had they been awarded the contract, CRRC would have constructed an assembly and test facility in Fort Edward, New York. Kawasaki Rail Car and Alstom Transport's joint venture ALSKAW, has indicated that they are bidding on the contract.
The design of the R211 was carried out in collaboration with Antenna Design beginning in 2012. Their previous work includes some of the MTA's other subway cars as well as the On the Go! Kiosk. The design concept prepared in 2013 showed a new striking exterior appearance. The car retains a bare stainless steel body with gloss black front, but with new orthogonal lines and strips of LED lighting. The interior of the cars has the same aesthetic of the current cars with off-white walls and light blue seats.
Open gangways had been something the MTA was considering early in the design phase. In January 2016, the MTA announced that it will evaluate a train composed of ten cars with open-gangways. Known as the R211T, it is expected that this feature will allow for an increase in capacity and allow freer movement of passengers.
In July 2016, the MTA introduced an updated R211 design. The front face of the car is now deep blue instead of black. And along the side, the car has blue and gold graphics. These follow the implementation of a new blue and gold livery on the system's buses. The inside of the car also shares the new blue and gold aesthetic. Most seats are blue, while tip-up seats for wheelchairs and perch seats are in gold. The floor is gold with marking for wheelchair positions and boarding and alighting in blue. New amenities include wifi, USB charging ports, full color digital customer information displays, digital advertisements, illuminated door opening alerts, and CCTV. The doors on the R211 be 58 inches wide, eight inches wider than current cars. The MTA estimate that this will reduce a train’s station dwell time by 32%.
In 2017, a full-scale mockup of the R211 was constructed in the W. 34th St.-Hudson Yards Station. The display shows the first half of the car and an end section with open gangway. The blue and gold graphics extend from the bottom of the car to the roof, differing from the renders displayed the year prior. Inside, the colour scheme of the floor was reversed and stanchions are in yellow. The public has the opportunity to view the mockup from November 30 to December 6 on weekdays from 11am to 7pm and on weekends from 10am to 5pm.
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