Press release

Bombardier subway cars returned to service: safe, reliable and carrying passengers again in New York

  • Steps taken to further enhance door operation safety
  • Fleet performing reliably after millions of miles in operation


Global mobility solution provider Bombardier Transportation announced today that its fleet of subway cars for New York City Transit (NYCT) returned to passenger service on Friday, January 24, 2020, ahead of New York’s early morning rush hour. The cars had been removed from service after two isolated incidents related to the door mechanisms.

Known as the R179s, the cars were approved to return to service after Bombardier completed all work related to verifying the safety of the door systems. This work included the inspection, calibration and testing of the door locking mechanism, new software upgrades, static and dynamic testing and all necessary accompanying analytics and documentation.

Maryanne Roberts

Media Relations

Group Media Relations

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A fleet of R179 subway cars for New York City Transit

A fleet of R179 subway cars for New York City Transit

Two isolated incidents – passenger safety was not at risk 

Bombardier’s root-cause analysis indicated that the two incidents triggering the verification were due to a rare and very specific combination of unforeseen mechanical and operational circumstances that proved extremely difficult to replicate and were unlikely to reoccur. As safety is Bombardier’s utmost priority, the company acted swiftly and decisively to put in place corrective measures on the entire fleet.

"Bombardier stands by the quality and integrity of its rail cars and components and wants to reassure customers and passengers that the R179 doors are completely safe."
Elliot G. (Lee) Sander, President, Americas Region, Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier committed to quality, safety, customers and passengers

“Bombardier stands by the quality and integrity of its rail cars and components and wants to reassure customers and passengers that the R179 doors are completely safe,” said Elliot G. (Lee) Sander, President, Americas Region, Bombardier Transportation. “We are proud of our collaboration and partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit and we sincerely apologize for the impacts to our customer and their riders. We hope that our absolute commitment to safety, reliability and making things right, as demonstrated by our rapid and dedicated response to this issue, reassures all passengers who ride on Bombardier trains.”

Fleet exceeding contractual reliability requirements

Since the start of passenger service in January 2018, the R179 cars have accumulated over 10 million miles in operation and are performing well. The fleet is exceeding the contractual requirements for reliability amid steady improvement in the cars’ performance, as measured by NYCT. The R179s were the best performing car class for November 2019.

About Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation is a global mobility solution provider leading the way with the rail industry’s broadest portfolio. It covers the full spectrum of solutions, ranging from trains to sub-systems and signalling to complete turnkey transport systems, e-mobility technology and data-driven maintenance services. Combining technology and performance with empathy, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility by providing integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers and the environment. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Bombardier Transportation employs around 40,650 people and its products and services operate in over 60 countries.

About Bombardier

With over 68,000 employees, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game-changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world-class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in 28 countries as well as a broad portfolio of products and services for the business aviation, commercial aviation and rail transportation markets. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, Bombardier posted revenues of $16.2 billion US. The company is recognized on the 2019 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World Index. News and information are available at or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

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