On Thursday at around 12:13 PM, I was sitting inside a regular F train car and facing the Manhattan-bound station wall at Kew Gardens/Union Tpke, when I noticed a strange reflection off the opposite side's window. I saw what seemed to be electronic LED lettering seemingly glistening from a train's display. I instantly remembered what Lost City said about seeing a new R160 train being tested on the F line, and turned around to peer into the station. Sure enough, there was a R160 on the Jamaica-bound tracks departing from the station. Since it was undergoing non-revenue testing, there were no passengers on-board. But I was just so excited that I got to see a train undergoing testing that would soon be opened to the public. One of the car's numbers was 8708.
Of course, I cannot wait for it to be put into service, but at the same time, I prefer the current R46 since its interiors seem much more cozy with the softer lights and a vibrancy of the wallpaper and "disco-colored" seats as compared to the sterile blue/white of the 160s. Plus, those conductors on the 160s can just never get those station announcements/FIND displays working properly, probably because the rolling stock uses a revolution-based distance measurement tool to predict where it is. (BAD)
By the way, I have recently seen and heard the MTA finally putting those Passenger Information Displays (PIDs) to good use. At the Jamaica-bound 71Av/Forest Hills station, after a R, V, or G local train pulls in and opens its doors, an automated (not the manually-announced ones telling you that a train is at XX station) message announces that 'This is the last stop of this R train. Please leave the train." or something similar. In addition, one time my E train was being held at that same platform in order to wait for an incoming local train, and the announcement said, 'This train is being held momentarily in the station to help connecting passengers from another train.' In both instances, the PIDs displayed each message! Hurrah-finally we get to see some results! Hopefully those next-train arrival times can soon be initiated too.
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