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Green EXP Signs???

Something strange about some Redbirds out there.

On 12 November 1999, I discovered something strange about the Express sign on #9677. Instead of the usual red, it was green! I thought it was very strange, so that's why I had to point it out.  I also discovered a green express sign on R33s car #9340 on 17 November 1999.  See picture below.


This is the Green EXP sign at the #2 end of car #9340. The express sign is always located on the cab side of the car.
(R-33 #9340 with Green Express Sign @ 45 Road Station (7) 17 Nov 1999)

A look at 9677's green EXP sign.

Usually, like in this picture, the EXP sign is red. It's unusual to see a green express sign. Click here to see the picture at the left full-sized.

If you think that's something, wait until you see the Local/Express signs on #9574! (Car #9574 @ Grand Central (7) 17 November 1999 w/ LCD "LOCAL" sign. Photo by Roberto M. Marrero)  Click here to see a picture of 9574's sign in detail.


Now, about these signs I'm talking about.  They've been a standard feature on all cars from the R1 in 1932 all the way to the R-40 (Slanted end only) in 1969. After that, no new cars had them. They were basically used to tell the local trains apart from the expresses. They are still being used today on the IRT* lines because they remained after their general overhaul (GOH) back in the early 1990's. 

An R1 at Ditmas Avenue in 1971, prior to going to the Transit Museum (5-Culver Shuttle)
The same R1 at the lower level of the 9th Avenue station in Brooklyn.
A Pre-GOH R40 at DeKalb Avenue

BTW, today, most of the R-1s have been scrapped (a couple remain as museum cars, #100 is in the New York City Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn.), and the R-40s, along with the R-32s and 38s, went through a GOH a few years ago which eliminated the Local/Express signs on those cars. However, a few cars have places where these signs, plus marker lights, would have been if they stayed.  Click here to see one.

This is a picture of an R40 on the Q line at the Sheepshead Bay station (by me, of course). Notice that the Local/Express signs have been removed. (Compare with some older, pre-GOH R40 pictures here.)
There is also a big version of the picture on the left which can be accessed by clicking here.


*IRT: Interborough Rapid Transit:  The Operating company that operated the original New York City Subway line, as we know it. Now known as the subway lines named with numbers.
Day One of the...: October 27, 1904.


I posted a question related to the topic of this page on the SubTalk Message board.  The original message, and the thread that spawned from that thread (responses) can be accessed here.