New York City Subway Trial Run Will Update Separated Train Cars With 'Open Gangway' Design

Open gangways on the Berlin U-Bahn's U6. These so-called großprofil cars are spacious, and the design does wonders for passenger flow and crowding.
Open gangways on the Berlin U-Bahn's U6. These so-called großprofil cars are spacious, and the design does wonders for passenger flow and crowding.

The MTA and subway policy enthusiasts from popular blog 2nd Ave. Sagas recently combed through the MTA's revised capital plan and found a few intersting items, including a trial run for updated subway cars with an 'Open Gangway' design, similar to the Berlin subway seen above.

The concept of rolling stock with open gangways — articulated train sets — is one of those not-in-New York ideas we’ve come to know and warily examine over the years. The MTA has issued numerous excuses — tight curves, safety concerns that were valid 25 or 30 years ago — that seem to ring hollow, and every now and then, the agency nods at the idea of five-car sets with open walkways. The last serious consideration came in 2013 when the MTA’s 20-year needs document acknowledged the benefits of rolling stock with open gangways.

For the MTA, a design with open gangways is a long overdue need. It’s an easy way to boost subway capacity by, as we explored earlier this year, around 8-10 percent per subway train without increasing the frequency of a line, and as anyone who’s ridden the rails at rush hour lately can attest to, any capacity increase would help. So what’s the plan? It is, of course, a pilot.

Check out the full article to read more about the trial run in detail.

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