New Your City is getting new subway cars.  Why?  Well, according to Bloomberg, MTA needs to replace 3,900 cars over the next 20 years.  In fact, 1,500 of the MTA’s cars are past their FORTY YEAR LIMIT!!!!  If you have been on the MTA, these new cars come as great news.

But the news gets better.

The new cars are R211T, built by Kawasaki Rail Car.  These open-concept cars, called open gangway, are common in Asia and Europe but the addition of these cars to the MTA system marks the first time the concept will be used in the United States.

The cars are unique for many reasons.  First, the cars are more spacious.  Riders can spread out.  The doors are also larger, allowing passengers to get on and off quickly.  The cars are also open to each other, there is no door between each car, thus an open gangway.  Passengers can move between cars effortlessly, creating a less confined feeling.

In Hong Kong, they call the train “The Dragon”.  When riding these open gangway cars you can see the entire length of the train.  As the train moves along the track, curing and bending as it follows the tracks, the train takes on a life of its own and it feels like flying in the belly of a dragon.  I ride the Hong Kong subway often and find the sensations thrilling and unique.

The news cars will run on the C line, moving to the A-line after some fixes to that line, letting the new cars run smoothly.

These cars represent a $1.4 billion contract with Kawasaki but also another clue in the movement to a positive rail impression in the United States.