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Deck Roof Hi-V (New York City Subway car)

Deckroof Hi-V
Hi-V 3661.jpg
Deck Roof Hi-V car 3661 in 1908, before the addition of a middle door
In service1907-1958
ManufacturerAmerican Car and Foundry
Number built50
Number preserved1
Number scrapped49
Fleet numbers3650-3699
Operator(s)Interborough Rapid Transit Company
NYC Board of Transportation
New York City Transit Authority
Car body constructionRiveted Steel
Car length51 ft 1.5 in (15.58 m)
Width8 ft 10 in (2,692 mm)
Height12 ft 0 in (3,658 mm)
DoorsUp until the early 1910s: 4 After the 1910s: 6
Maximum speed55 mph (89 km/h)
WeightMotor car:
~83,780 lb (38,002 kg)
Traction systemMotor car: 2 motors per car.
Power output200 hp (149 kW) per traction motor
Electric system(s)600 V DC Third rail
Current collection methodContact shoe
Braking system(s)Before 1910: WABCO Schedule AM(P) with 'P' type triple valve and M-2 brake stand
After 1910: WABCO Schedule AMRE with 'R' type triple valve and ME-21 brake stand
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Deck Roof Hi-V was a New York City Subway car class built between 1907 and 1908 by American Car and Foundry for the IRT and its successors, the New York City Board of Transportation and the New York City Transit Authority.


The Deck Roofs were numbered 3650-3699. These cars remained in service from 1907 to 1958. These cars were nicknamed the Battleships because of their paint scheme where the siding was painted Battleship Grey.

When these cars were delivered, they had two doors on each side until the early 1910s, when they received another door in the middle on each side.[1] Just like the Gibbs cars, the Deck Roofs sent 600 volts into the controller, which was hazardous. Otherwise, these cars proved to be reliable throughout their career.

In the 1920s the Hi-V fleet was being converted to multiple unit door control, with the exception of all 50 of the Deck Roofs and some Gibbs and Hedley cars. The Deckroofs were often placed at either end of the train so that ten car trains of Hi-Vs could run.[2][3]

Until the late 1950s and early 1960s, The IRT platforms could not handle a full ten car train. Thus, the manual door controls of the Deck Roof were reliable, as the side vestibule doors at either end of the train can be opened manually even if the entire car isn't on the platform. However, two conductors were required for operation of manual door controlled cars.


When all the platforms on the IRT were eventually lengthened to support ten car trains, the Hi-Vs by then were being phased out by the then new R17, R21, and R22 subway cars. The last of the Hi-Vs were retired in 1959.

Car 3662 was preserved by the Shore Line Trolley Museum. It was modified with trolley poles and was previously operational, but a flood at the museum site damaged the car's electrical underfloor components. It is currently out of service awaiting restoration.[4]


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