subway car
Damn you, sweaty car 2214!

Have you entered a disgustingly hot 1 train car this summer? You’re definitely not alone. The train has been plagued by AC outages all summer, because the kinds of subway cars that run on the 1 and 6 lines (model R62A) are outdated and tougher to fix. WNYC got to the bottom of the problem.

The R62As date back to the Reagan Administration, and therein lies the problem. “The technology at the time provided for one compressor for each of the air units in the car,” [MTA spokesman Kevin] Ortiz said. “So if you lost that one compressor, you basically lost all of the air for that entire car.”

Newer cars — or older cars that have been overhauled — are built differently. “They have separate HVAC systems, where if one fails, you can use another within that car,” said Ortiz. And repairing them is simpler: the HVAC systems “are easily removable from the top of the trains.” Almost like Lego, a broken HVAC unit can be popped off a train, repaired, and popped back on. But “that’s not the case with the older technology cars,” he said, “where you have to work on the entire component as a whole to address it.”

WNYC also reported that the same cars seem to lose AC again and again, and even if the MTA addresses the problem, temporary fixes don’t seem to be helping.

These R62A cars are also nearing the end of their maintenance cycle, and will be getting new AC units starting this year, though the entire overhaul process for all the cars could take two years.

If you do notice a stiflingly hot train car, you can call 511 to report it, fill out a form here, or tweet to @NYCTSubway.

NEWS | 16 comments | permalink
    1. Maryjane says:

      its not just one car its 3-4 or more…never had this problem in the past….all of a sudden the a/c on these cars are breaking down or is it just incompetence from Prendergast & co.

      • Roscoe says:

        Incompetence but only Of Pendergast and he makes sure that all employees of the MTA are same incompetent like him.
        Dirty stations, tracks full of trash and rats, leaking walls and ceilings, decrepit cars and much more has nothing to do with a 100 yrs. old subway system but with incompetence by managers that are responsible in every single aspect of running a multi- billion dollars corporation with no accountability to anyone and for sure no sanctioning of those that fail in their responsabilities.

    2. JDP says:

      Thanks MTA. Always glad to see someone else explain the issue that you already know and not care to address in a timely manor during a heatwave.

    3. Juan says:

      Earlier in the summer I had my first occasion of the year of “there’s a good reason why there are so many empty seats in that car when other cars are crowded.” It has happened with more frequency this year than in any prior year. Fortunately it has been a relatively mild summer so sometimes I tough it out for a few stops, but usually I make the dash to another car when I can.

    4. robert says:

      The R62As date back to the Reagan Administration????

      If you can hold on till 2026.

      Initial replacement of the R62As is currently scheduled for 2026 through 2028. The MTA has been maintaining the R62As through the SMS program, which consists of repainting bulkheads, rebuilding trucks, changing out floors, repainting damaged seats, and other minor interior work on a set schedule in order to extend useful service life. There are also proposals for mid-life technological upgrades for the R62As, including LED destination signs and automated announcements.

      • Steven says:

        The continuous NYC transportation infrastructure decline in a more crowded and congested city is unacceptable and disgraceful. And MTA officials have been too cavalier and complacent in not fixing it – ahead of schedule and within budget!
        No air-conditioning in outdated subway cars? I experienced it last night. And when I immediately exited to switch cars, the courteous conductor/motorman shut the door. Good customer service, MTA.
        And what about those filthy and dehumanizing walls on subway platforms (note: West 14th & 7th Ave. Station…with new Whitney Museum, the High Line and former St.Vincent’s Hospital uber- luxury condos just upstairs – with $6 to $30 million homes.) And Penn Station rehab…delayed with overruns. And what’s up with America’s #1 Decayed Port Authority BusTerminal? And now (Front Page NY Times piece…To NOT REQUIRE English language skills for non-English speaking cab drivers! Are they kidding? Imagine the frustrated tourists from Michigan and Arizona on way to a Broadway theater? These are absurd NYC hospitality standards which dismally lower the bar. MTA and Taxi Officials: Putting our frustrated NYC residents and visitors last…with far fewer smart and sensible standards of excellence. Very sad.

    5. Ish Kabibble says:

      Damn Republicans!

    6. Justina says:

      Happened at least 2x a week so far this summer.

    7. Jo Ann says:

      Just road in one. Now I know what Hell on wheels feels like.

    8. B.B. says:

      Took a #6 train yesterday; including the initial car one boarded *five* (5) all were hot as heck without functioning air conditioning. People were walking between cars and or getting out at each station and run to the next car in search of one that was cool.

      This is really unacceptable. Especially when the MTA is talking about yet another round of fare increases.

    9. WH says:

      Somehow the A/c works in the driver’s car!

    10. Margaret says:

      I don’t get how the MTA will immediately pull a graffiti-tagged subway car out of service, but the explanation for running sweltering cars for weeks is that fixing it would require maintenance.

      July was the hottest month ever recorded. Officially inviting Governor Cuomo to come take a ride in an unmaintained hot car like the rest of us this summer.

    11. RedRaleigh says:

      The NYC subway system is one of the worst transit systems in the world and it’s been broken for decades. All New Yorker’s should be angry and ashamed. I recently returned from Japan and their system is remarkable. NYC is one of the greatest cities int he world and deserves a system like that. Clearly, the MTA is not being run by smart people.

    12. Independent says:

      “unnaturally steamy”?

      Isn’t it entirely natural for any confined, congested, poorly-ventilated space that is not air-conditioned to be hot and humid on a typical summer day in the City?
      This would be a good time to note and underscore the salaries of the MTA executives. Perhaps someone else can post the actual figures. In the case of the top-executive, at least, I recall the amount well enough to be able to say that he certainly does not appear to be enduring any real suffering or sacrifice in that area.