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The R26 was a New York City Subway car built in 1959 by American Car and Foundry. They were made for the IRT A Division and were the first cars to not be built with operating cabs at both ends.
The even-numbered car carried the motor generator and battery set for electrical equipment while the odd numbered car held air compressor for the brakes. A special version of the H2C coupler was used to link the cars so they could easily be split if needed and thus, they were called "semi-permanent pairs." Only the No.1 end had the operator controls. The No.2 end had conductor's controls only. Although referred as the "blind end," these ends did have windows for the conductor. The R26s were the first cars to use single, sealed storm windows since the R14s, and pink colored-molded hard fiberglass seats. The hard fiberglass seats would become standard seating from this order onward for all new cars purchased to cut down on vandalism, and reduce maintenance costs, etc.
The first set of R26/R28s was placed in service on the 6 train on October 12, 1959. By 1982, all cars in this series have received air conditioning as part of a retrofitting program. Rebuilt by Morrison Knudsen between 1985 and 1987, these cars were repainted as Redbirds and were the first cars to do so. They re-entered service on the IRT Main Line, particularly the 2 and 5 trains.