New subway cars let riders — and smells, and creeps — move freely


Get ready to smell other straphangers from several subway cars away.

The MTA on Tuesday released a sneak peek of its upcoming “open gangway” trains, in which all the cars are linked via one long passage.

Images of the under-construction cars show a seamless corridor with wall handles between the cars — instead of the heavy doors and rickety platforms on trains currently riding the rails.

The new design should increase capacity and allow commuters to move freely around trains — but also mean unpleasant smells, sounds and people will no longer be confined to one carriage.

“They have benefits and issues — less worry about falling [in between cars] but no escape from someone you’re trying to get away from in your car — think performers, odiferous and, or dangerous individuals, pizza rats,” said Lisa Daglian of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.

“We’re looking forward to test riding them to see better for ourselves how they work.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released the first look at its newest state-of-the-art subway cars in production, the R211 class, which is planned for service on the subway system’s lettered routes and the Staten Island Railway.

The MTA is awaiting a $1.4 billion order of 532 of the R211 cars from Kawasaki Rail Car Inc., though it’s not yet clear how many of them will have the gangway design.

Twenty of the R211 models featuring the “gangway” design are expected to arrive in 2021 for testing.

Ten other R211 cars are set to be delivered this year for testing.

If the public and the MTA likes the test cars, officials could order up to 1,612 of them for 3.7 billion, to run on lettered lines and the Staten Island Railway.

Train cars without walls between them are already used in several subway systems throughout the world, including in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris and Berlin.