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This video came out a few years ago on National Geographic when the R160 subway cars were introduced in New York City, but it’s nonetheless still an awe-inspiring view at the Alstom factories which produces the NYC subway cars. Start at 2:44 to ignore the amazed voice-over about the reprogrammable “LCD monitor” (which was a great improvement at the time).

The subway car shells are manufactured in Lapa, Brazil by French company Alstom outside of São Paulo and then assembled in Hornell, New York. It takes 60 days to craft the body shell of the subway car, which is done almost entirely by hand. Other fun facts from the video: the floors are insulated to muffle the sound of the tracks and they factory simulates a thunderstorm to test for water leakage.

Read more from our Cities 101 series about how stuff works in the city. 

 Cities 101, subway, video

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