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New R211 Cars Unveiled on Staten Island Railway, First New Subway Cars on Staten Island in More Than 50 Years

New York City Transit
Updated Oct 17, 2023 2:45 p.m.
R211 Cars Unveiled on Staten Island Railway

Cutting Edge Cars Feature Wider Doors, Security Cameras Throughout the Train, Digital Screens in Every Car and Additional Accessibility Features 


See Photos of Cars Moving to Staten Island and Today’s Event


See Video of R211 Subway Cars Arriving on Staten Island


See Video of R44 and R211 Subway Cars


See Video of Today’s Event


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today rolled out five of the standard R211 subway cars that are the first step in phasing these cutting-edge cars into service on the Staten Island Railway in early 2024. The cars are part of a 535-car order which includes 440 R211A standard cars with state-of-the-art amenities, 75 Staten Island Railway cars and 20 cars with the open gangway feature. The cars were moved on flat-bed trucks across the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge overnight from Brooklyn to their current location at Clifton Maintenance Shop on Staten Island.

These R211 cars are a critical part of the MTA's ongoing modernization efforts and feature 58-inch-wide door openings that are eight inches wider than standard door openings on existing cars – designed to speed up boarding and reduce the amount of time trains sit in stations. 

“For the first time in 50 years, brand new, faster, cleaner and safer trains are coming to Staten Island,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “These new, top-of-the-line R211 cars feature security cameras and digital displays, along with wider doorways that will help speed up boarding times and run more reliable service. I look forward to delivering Staten Island Railway customers a totally modernized fleet as we introduce more new cars in the future.” 

“Wider doors and additional accessible seating will drastically improve the experience for all riders, particularly those with disabilities, parents with strollers and seniors,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo. “I’m excited for riders on Staten Island to experience a more comfortable and convenient ride.”

“We are investing in state-of-the-art subway cars that will allow us to provide the best and most reliable service to our customers,” said New York City Transit Senior Vice President for Subways Demetrius Crichlow. “The R211S will give riders a more comfortable and modern experience on Staten Island.”    

These models include security cameras, additional accessible seating, digital displays that will provide more detailed station-specific information, and brighter lighting and signage, among other features that improve the customer experience.

The current class of cars on the Staten Island Railway are R44s, which joined the Staten Island Railway in 1973 after debuting on the subway the previous year.

In October 2022, the MTA announced the MTA Board had approved to order an additional 640 standard R211 subway cars, bringing the total number of new subway cars to 1,080 within the next two years. This second set of new subway cars is expected to be delivered in early 2025 and all Staten Island Railway cars are expected to arrive by the end of 2024.

“These new railway cars will go a long way in improving accessibility, public safety and the overall commuter experience on the Staten Island Railway,” said Representative Nicole Malliotakis. “We appreciate the MTA’s attention to our borough’s transportation needs.”

“These cars will ensure the customer experience continues to improve with features like security cameras which make a difference and help address public safety concerns,” said Assembly Member Charles Fall. “We’re going to continue to fight to deliver on other projects that can improve the lives of Staten Islanders.”

"The R211 cars are a welcomed upgrade to the Staten Island Railway, which has maintained its 70’s design and operational abilities since the current R44 cars entered service in 1973,” said Assembly Member Sam Pirozzolo. “I hope Staten Islanders enjoy this modernized experience, and I look forward to seeing them in action."

“We've spent many years talking about modernizing our transportation infrastructure — now, I am glad to see that we are finally doing it,” said Assembly Member Michael Reilly. “These R211 cars will ensure quick, comfortable, and reliable transportation for Staten Islanders who use the Staten Island Railway as part of their daily commute. Thank you to Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber and the MTA team for making this effort a reality!”

“As someone that utilizes public transportation and also represents a district of commuters, I am pleased to see that the train cars of the Staten Island Railway will be upgraded for the convenience of my constituents,” said Assembly Member Michael Tannousis. “As a borough lacking in public transportation, we need to continue to have significant improvements to our transit system which will benefit Staten Island residents.” 

“I’m happy to see that the upgrade for the Staten Island Railway fleet will soon become a reality,” said Council Member David Carr. “This comes on the heels of the newly completed New Dorp Station ADA elevator. Our borough’s only railway is getting the high-tech makeover it deserves thanks to the leadership at New York City Transit and SIR for their ongoing work to improve the railroad in our borough.”