Monday, March 28, 2011

A Tribute to a Train Car of the Past.....

The R-10s and the A - a match made in subway heaven.

They thundered. They blazed. They were tailor made for the Abbott. When they ruled, the CPW express run was a DASH and not a leisurely jog. When they bore down on 81st St. in full flight, you had the feeling that nothing could stop them. If you were standing on the platform at 81st, you got an earful as they ripped past.

The TA has made some blunders through the years, but putting the R-10s on the route they were tailor-made for was among the best moves - if not THE best move - ever made.

A combination of express runs and the speed capabilities of those cars. Now, I know that all SMEEs had the same operating characteristics in terms of acceleration and balancing speed, so in that regard the R-10s were no different than, say, the R-42s. Perhaps the fact that the R-10s were, shall we say, noisier than other SMEEs gave the perception of greater speed. Being that as it may, I enjoyed riding on them.

My very first CPW express dash was on a prewar D on November 24, 1967. Their bull and pinion gears wailed away at F# above middle C for most of that sprint.

The R-10s were an immortal fleet. I affectionately refer to then as the Thunderbirds. I still remember the racing stripe scheme they wore in the late 60s.


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