Vandalism threatening last runs of vintage NYC subway cars

Dec 26, 2021, 8:09 AM | Updated: 8:12 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The celebratory last runs of vintage New York City subway cars could be in jeopardy because of vandalism.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced recently it would run one train of the 1960s-era R-32 cars on four successive Sundays beginning Dec. 19 before they are put on display at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn.

The New York Daily News reported Saturday that transit workers said someone kicked in one of the cars’ seats, which are irreplaceable, during the first run and that the remaining runs could be canceled.

“If at any time, for any reason the train crew deems it necessary to take the train out of service, they will do so immediately and all future retirement runs of the R32s will be canceled,” New York Transit Museum director Concetta Bencivenga wrote in an email last week, according to the Daily News.

The cars, nicknamed the Brightliners, were the first large fleet of mass-produced stainless-steel cars purchased by the MTA and are the last class of subway cars with a front window through which passengers can look. They have been seen in movies including “Spiderman: Homecoming” and “Joker,” according to the MTA.

Many were taken out of service beginning in the late 2000s, and most were sunk in the Atlantic Ocean as part of an artificial reef program.

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Vandalism threatening last runs of vintage NYC subway cars