5. Garbage Cars

Perhaps one of the most common work cars you’ll see in the subway is the garbage train. Trash barrels carried on a series of flatbeds were once pulled by retired Redbird subway cars. You can still see these older trains painted yellow on some lines, but now, especially on the lettered lines, you’re more likely to see trash being pulled by silver R32 or R42 subway cars.

The garbage trains run late at night and collect dozens of tons of trash from the subway stations. After a controversial pilot program where trash bins were temporarily removed from 39 subway stations, in 2017 Operation Track Sweep introduced even more trash bins and 27 additional refuse cars to move debris out of the system more quickly. The MTA stated that the new garbage cars were “equipped with special railings to secure and transport wheeled garbage containers that are collected at subway stations.” You can see how workers load and unload the trash bins in this video.