We are living in an age when almost anything seems possible: Netflix can be downloaded offline! Megalomaniac Twitter trolls can become president! Goat yoga... is a thing! But spotting a subway car being transported through the streets of NYC is still a surprising and rare sighting that makes us question the nature of reality for a moment.
A tipster spotted the train traveling northbound on Broadway and Dyckman Street last week: "There were at least two of these going up at the same time," he said. "I didn't stick around long enough to see how many subway cars passed by in total." YouTuber DJ Hammers pointed out that this was a new R179 car which was being tested out in the video below.
While one might assume that train cars are more often than not delivered by rail rather than trucking—especially considering the fact that so few people spot train cars aboveground— that doesn't seem to be the case according to the MTA. Hammers noted in a Reddit thread on the new cars, "I do know there is precedent for both methods. I also can't speak for which method is more cost effective though. Bear in mind that FRA regulations prohibit subway cars (which are not FRA-certified) from being towed on their own wheels on main line railroads. You'd have to load them on the flatcars. This is how the R142s were delivered."
And here's a video from 2012 that shows the process of moving the train cars: