IMG 9366

An R143 (L) train. Photo taken by Brian Weinberg

Template:Infobox Train The R143 is a standard gauge subway car design used on the B Division of the New York City Subway in the United States. The cars are primarily used on the L service. The New York City Transit Authority owns 212 R143 cars, numbered 8101 to 8312, and built for an average cost of about $1.5 million per car.


Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. was awarded a $190 million contract for 100 new B Division cars in late December 1998, with an option for as many as 112 more.[1] The new design was based on the A Division's R142A, which Kawasaki also built,[2] and incorporated many features from the R110B prototype. Delivery began in late 2001, and a 30-day test with one train of eight cars began on December 4, 2001.[3] According to Kawasaki, the test was "extremely successful".[2]

R143s began running on the BMT Canarsie Line (L train) on February 12, 2002,[4] and all 212 cars were delivered to the subway by March 2003.[5] In addition to the L,[6] where the R143s displaced the R40/R40Ms and most of the R42s,[7] they also displaced the R42s[8] on the M weekend shuttle service on the BMT Myrtle Avenue Line. The R143s on that line were replaced by R160As in February 2008. One Person Train Operation was tested on the L during mid-2005.[9][10].

Eight R143s numbered 8205-8212 were retrofitted with experimental Siemens traction motors to test the traction motors that would be found in some of the R160B cars[11][12]. These cars were eventually refitted traction motors found in all other R143s.

The 212 cars delivered were expected to provide enough service for years, but the fast growth of Williamsburg, Brooklyn overloaded the L by mid-2006.[13]

On June 21, 2006, an eight-car R143 train overshot the bumper at the end of the tracks in the Canarsie Yard after the operator suffered a seizure. Lead car #8277 suffered significant damage and has been stripped of damaged parts for repair. It is currently at the Kawasaki plant in Yonkers while the rest of the set (8278-8280) is at the 207th Street Yard. It is not known when these cars will return to service.

See alsoEdit


  1. New York Times, Subway Job to Kawasaki, December 30, 1998, page B6
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc., New York City Transit R143 Subway Cars, accessed April 14, 2007
  3. R143
  4. Randy Kennedy, New York Times, 1,700 Subway Cars to Be Built Under Largest Such Contract in New York History, July 31, 2002, page B3
  5. Railway Age, Kawasaki completes NYCT R143 order, March 1, 2003
  6. Patrick McGeehan, New York Times, Port Authority to Replace PATH Fleet for $499 Million, April 1, 2005, page B5
  8. Matthew L. Wald, New York Times, Crash on the Subway: The System, June 6, 1995, page B5
  9. Sewell Chan, New York Times, On L Train, Drivers Perform Solo, Without Conductors, June 20, 2005, page B3
  10. Jennifer B. Lee and Shadi Rahimi, New York Times, Conductors Are Returning To the Subway's L Line, September 24, 2005, page B3
  13. New York Daily News, Oh, L, not enuf trains!, July 7, 2006

External linksEdit

Template:Commons category