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About the trains used in "Shot In The Dark"

by Bobby Ryan

The subway train used in "Shot In The Dark," episode # 31 was actually stock footage from the then NYC Board of Transportation. (now MTA-NYC Transit)

This equipment is referred to as R-1/R-9 cars, denoting the contract of order (we are up to R-110 today). These cars were used exclusively by the city owned and operated IND (Independent Subway) Lines.



 They were tested on the BMT (Brooklyn Manhattan Transit Lines) prior to the completion of the IND
Subway in 1931. These cars ran in revenue (paying passengers) until the early 70s. They were also used as "work motors" to haul disabled equipment and as motor cars (4 motors) for the work trains.

Most New York City baby boomers rode these cars to school or to Coney Island and then later used them to go to work.

Like most equipment of the day, they had a distinct sound resulting from the traction motors winding up upon acceleration (sort of like an ascending grrrrrrrrrrr). They were one of my favorites to ride because the front window was low enough that I could look out the front when I was as young as five years old. Dad and I (as did many folks back in Brooklyn) depended on the subways to get around New York City. We didn't have (or really need) a car.

Fortunately a friend of mine, Donald Harold (retired), had the foresight to save a couple cars from this series back when the fleet was being scrapped. These cars were literally hidden in the transit system to escape the scrap dealers torch. In 1976 Mr. Harold created the Transit Museum. These cars are restored and are prominently displayed there. In later years it was a thrill to occasionally take a ride on the "Nostalgia Special" to the Rockaways. So, all rail fans owe a debt of appreciation to Don Harold for keeping alive the transportation memories we hold dear -- and also to Superman for averting yet another disaster in "Shot In The Dark." 

 "Like The Only Real Magic -- The Magic Of Knowledge"