Subway cars built in 1969—known as the R-42s—drew transit enthusiasts to Euclid Avenue on Wednesday morning for their final run. The trains have been a part of the subway system for some 50 years, built by the St. Louis Car Company.

Featuring a silver exterior and blue-gray bench seating, the rusty R-42s are the second oldest type of car in the MTA's fleet. The oldest are R-32s, which are still in service.

"It looks nostalgic," said 19-year-old Harlem resident Khasem Johnson, with a GoPro in hand to document the ride from Euclid Avenue to Far Rockaway. "It looks like New York if you ask me. It's a little rough on the edges. It has rust on the roof. But at the end of the day, railfans love them because it made New York, New York."

R-42s once totaled 400 cars in the subway system's fleet, and many have already been replaced by R-160s. R-179s, newer trains which recently had to be pulled off the tracks due to door issues, and the to-be-delivered open gangway style R-211s will replace the fifty remaining R-42s, which have been with us since the Mayor John Lindsay-era.

"What might just seem to be a lump of metal and glass, I think it becomes a part of your life," said the outgoing New York City Transit President Andy Byford, who surprised commuters on the final run along the A line today. "If you're just so familiar with it, you kind of it miss it when it's gone."

NYC Transit President Andy Byford on the last R-42 train car subway car along the A line February 12, 2020.

"The fact that [the R-42s] served New Yorkers for 50 years—I'd hope that they would see it as a part of their lives," said Byford, who, amid cheers for the "Train Daddy" himself, took selfies and talked transit with subway wonks at Euclid Avenue. "This train took them to work, took them to the cinema. Transit effectively becomes a part of your life because it's a part of that everyday experience getting to work."

Upper East Sider Emine Morris, 17, was among the first who huddled onto the train car near Byford, who she said reaches celebrity-status in her eyes.

"It's not every day you get to ride a 50-year-old train in New York City for the last time," said Morris. She first became passionate about trains when she would pass abandoned stations along the A and C lines growing up.

"It's very, very spacious," said Morris. "The seats are decent. It's a comfortable train. It goes fast. Breaks are iffy, but you know, a 7 out of a 10 train."

R-42s once ran along the BMT Broadway Line—known as the N line today—and were the first to be entirely air-conditioned. In recent years, straphangers rode R-42s along the J and Z lines.

"I remember being 10 years old and saying, 'Wow the silver train means that we're going to have cool cars!' It was such a treat back then," said Bill Wall of NYC Transit's rapid transit operations.

Two R-42s had a moment of fame in the 1971 film The French Connection; the two train cars will join the Transit Museum's vintage train collection. The remaining few dozen will be held at the NYC Transit's rail yards and scrapped, with details of their disposal to be revealed later this year, according to transit officials. (R-42s in the 2000s were sunk in the Atlantic Ocean to make artificial reefs, though the program ended in 2010.)

Bushwick railfan Arqiel Roldan said he would miss the R-42s' distinct rollsigns.

"I actually love the rollsigns... and the design of it," Roldan said. "It's one of the trains of many metals."

Added Jackson Heights resident Alejandro Espinosa, "It's nice to have a little piece of history where we go back to the time period where every single sign [was] actually in print."

"I took the R-42 subway car since I was a young kid," Espinosa said. "I was actually so surprised that they made an announcement that the R-42 was going to retire today, so that's why I'm here today."

"I was like, I have no time to lose, so I just got on board."