Northern Suburbs News

The place where subway cars are built

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Subway cars have been built for the last 25 years at the Kawasaki Plant in Yonkers.

The sprawling facility has turned out over 2,000 rail cars for New York City Transit, PATH, Metro North, Long Island Rail Road as well as subways in Boston and Washington D.C. Currently, they're building new cars for the 7 line with cutting edge technology.

The stainless steel shells are built in Nebraska, but the main assembly happens here.

Many of the parts are custom made at the plant. Workers press steel, grind it and weld it.

Assembly follows a series of steps - bays where the wiring of is done, both outside and inside the car.

There's a separate section where the mechanical or truck of the car is built. In all, over 150 people will work on each rail car.

So how did Kawasaki end up in Yonkers? The company's original contract with the Port Authority required the cars to be built within 25 miles of the Statue of Liberty. Thus, an old elevator plant became a railroad car factory.

The final step is a run on the test track along with a series of inspections. after all, these machines will carry millions of commuters.

In all, it's a 30 day process for a subway car that you'll ride on for 25 years.

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yonkers, mass transit, subway, northern suburbs news, marcus solis
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