Just a few blocks from the Yonkers train station and the daylighted Saw Mill river in Van der Donck Park, a New York City subway car floats above Wells Avenue connecting two buildings on a dead end street. Its direction: Yankee Stadium, with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA logo) on it. It’s quite a sight and when you look closer, you see that it’s actually a pedestrian bridge. Why is it there?

Below the train car is a steel beam that contains a key clue: Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. If the company name sounds familiar, you’re on the right track (pun intended). Kawasaki manufactures the rolling stock, the transportation industry name for train cars. Kawasaki cars can be found on the New York City subway, the PATH train, the Long Island Railroad, and Metro-North. In the New York City subway systems, Kawasaki manufactured the R62 on the 3 line, the R68A on the A, B, N, W lines, the R142A on the 4 line, the R143 on the L line, the R160B on the J, Z, L, M, N, E, F, G, R lines, the R188 on the 7 line, and the future R211 car, with the open gangway design.

R211 subway car in shop
The R211 car. Photo courtesy MTA

One of the U.S. facilities of Kawasaki is located in the i. Park Hudson warehouses next to this elevated train car in Yonkers. The company originates from Japan and also has a motor manufacturing facility and another rail car production facility in Nebraska. The cars themselves are usually produced in Nebraska but, as Westchester Magazine reports, “final assembly (fabrication of components, painting, installation, etc.), along with function testing (including brake tests on the company’s quarter-mile test track outside), takes place in Yonkers.” The assembly process includes installing all interior pieces within a subway car and the equipment below the floor. The facility, which was bought by Kawasaki in 2013, also handled the overhaul of NYC subway cars damaged in Superstorm Sandy and handles the overhaul of older subway cars to be modernized to new standards.

Kawasaki also provides rolling stock to the Washington DC Metro, Virginia Railway Express, SEPTA in Pennsylvania, and MBTA in Massachusetts. In Asia, Kawasaki makes cars for the Taipei Metro, Taipei High Speed Rail, Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit system, Hong Kong Mass Rapid Transit and Light Rail, Japan’s railways, and more.

You can check this out on your way to our upcoming tour of the Glenwood Power Plant in Yonkers!

Yonkers Power Plant

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