The R62 is a New York City Subway car built between 1983 and 1985 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Kobe, Japan, serving the is numbered 1301 - 1625, totaling to a number of 325 cars. Each car was purchased at an average price of US$918,293.
The R62 was the first stainless steel and air-conditioned subway car built for the A Division. They continued a controversial interior design by employing bucket seating. This reduced the number of seats per car when compared to standard bench seating, but had a higher capacity for standing. This design originated with the R44, and continued with the R62A, R68 and R68A cars. They also feature outdoor speakers. Several cars in the order (1588-90) have bench seating after complaints upon delivery. Bucket seating is no longer used on the newest New York City Subway cars.
In 1980, with the bus and train fleets in poor shape, the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) was looking into capital maintenance and bond acts to replace its aging fleet from the 1950s and early 1960s, and to rebuild or renovate older cars. The plan called for 325 IRT cars, under the R62 contract, ordered on April 12, 1982, and awarded to Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. This was the first time a foreign company was chosen to build cars for the New York City Subway.
The first set of R62s were delivered in October of 1983. The cars were built as "single" units, and remained as singles until 1991, when they were linked into 5-car sets to save money and equipment. They entered a 30-day testing program on the 4 line on November 29th. At that time, the new cars came as a great relief for IRT riders who were used to non-air conditioned and graffiti-filled trains. After several test runs in early 1984, the R62 cars entered regular service on the 4 line. All 325 cars were in service by August 1985, making the 4 the first entirely graffiti-free route in the system in many years. Kawasaki did not want to build the additional cars the MTA wanted as a separate part of the R62 order (under contract R62A). Bombardier, a rail car company based in Canada, won a contract to supply these additional 825 cars.
On August 28th, 1991, a sleep-deprived and intoxicated motorman crashed a southbound 4 train north of the 14th Street–Union Square station in Manhattan. The train was diverted from the express track to the local due to repairs, and the motorman sped through the switch at 40 m.p.h.; as a result, the first car made the switch while several other cars in the consist did not. Five riders were killed and several dozen were injured. Cars 1435, 1436, 1437, 1439 and 1440 were wrecked in this accident, and are now all scrapped and off TA property. The remaining five cars of the consist (cars 1431, 1432, 1433, 1434 and 1438) are now unitized.
On October 25, 2000, during the 2000 World Series, a rear-end collision occurred at the Fordham Road station on the IRT Jerome Avenue Line in the Bronx. Car 1369 was scrapped in 2005. Car 1366 and half of car 1370 are at the FDNY Randalls Island training center. Cars 1367 and 1368 were reefed in February of 2008.