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Old C Train Cars May Stay on Tracks Until 2022, MTA Says

By Camille Bautista | August 13, 2015 4:23pm
 Retirement for the old subway cars along the C line has been pushed back to 2022, according to the MTA.
Retirement for the old subway cars along the C line has been pushed back to 2022, according to the MTA.
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DNAinfo/Michael Ip

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The old subway cars on the C, J and Z lines are sticking around for another seven years, according to the MTA.

New fleets were set to replace the R32 models in 2017, but the trains’ retirement has been pushed back to as late as 2022 due to delays in deliveries, according to officials and agency documents.

Manufacturer Bombardier encountered welding issues with the more modern, R179 cars, an MTA spokeswoman said, and the company is “actively pursuing strategies to mitigate that delay.”

The holdup will cost $50.2 million to keep maintaining the old cars over the course of the next four years.

The delay was first reported by the Daily News.

In addition to the delivery setback, the MTA anticipates keeping the R32s in service longer than anticipated in order to “handle all our customers” for future service needs, an agency representative said.

The stark difference between the newer R179s and R32 trains are apparent, as the latter cars have been in service since the 1960s.

In June, transit advocacy group Riders Alliance invited straphangers and elected officials to dress up in their best retro garb to call attention to C trains still in service from 1964.

Riders received a brief reprieve this summer, since the MTA swaps out some R32s for modern models each year to avoid strain on the older air conditioning systems.