The Subway Car is an adaptation of the classic NYC subway car, which serves as a public transportation for the city. The Subway Car is only featured in games that are set in the 3D and HD renditions of Liberty City, reflecting its usage in the real-life New York City.
Both renditions are undrivable, but the player can use it for transportation, in exchange of a small fee that varies depending of the distance.
In Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, the games' stock train consists of two-to-three car electric trains, with a curved base. The train resembles the classic subway cars used in New York City's subway system, particularly the R62/R62A in terms in size and doors (the cars have three doors on both sides), and the R68/R68A in terms of body design and light configuration.
The train can be used to go around Portland between three stops as an El-Train;
- Portland LCS, on the Chinatown/Red Light District border.
- Rockford LCS, at the Liberty Campus.
- Shoreside Terminal LCS, at Francis International Airport, Shoreside Vale.
- Staunton South LCS, in Bedford Point.
The Subway Car and train tracks appear in GTA Chinatown wars. However, the trains cannot be ridden, and the player cannot enter the stations.
The Subway Car returns in Grand Theft Auto IV with a modernized design to match the game' settings. The cars of the trains are based on a mixture of the NYCTA R32 cars (currently the oldest cars in service in the system) and the 1966–67 built NYCT R38 cars (which were completely retired by March 2009); the bulkheads (front) of the cars feature curtain route signs (rollsigns) and additional lights seen only on pre-rebuilt R38s (rebuilt R32s and R38s feature only a digital flipdot sign). The Subway cars are mostly poorly maintained, as their interiors are quite dirty and the cars are covered with graffiti inside and out, reflecting the time when the NYCTA's trains were covered in graffiti due to declining ridership. By using the camera of the Mobile Phone, one can see the interior of the subway car while inside the vehicle. The interior textures appears to be rather undetailed and only a few in-game ads (ECola, Cluckin' Bell and others) are visible. Unlike the GTA III model, the new subway car now has four doors on both sides.
The trains have unique door-ajar-chimes, so when doors are closing, they will bleep, until they are shut. This can be heard when a train leaves at any station. The trains will make distinctive blue sparks from their wheels when cornering around long stretches of track. The subway car will consist of two-to-three cars.
As in the 3D Universe, the Subway cars cannot be driven by the player, but can be entered to go on subway rides in Liberty City. The train will not stop at stations when the player has a three star or higher wanted level. If the player is on the train with a three star or higher level, it will stop when it reaches the next station and will refuse to go on until the player exits or loses their wanted level. Falling under the train will instantly result in the player being wasted. Outside of scripted events, the player cannot destroy a subway car, nor being able to intercept it with another car, as the subway car will practically push the player's vehicle effortlessly. If the player's vehicle is stuck on an obstacle while being pushed by the train, the vehicle will simply be crushed, often in exagerated ways to make the vehicle severely deformed or even unable to move. This will also cause glitch the car on nearby walls, even sending it into Blue Hell.
Prominent Appearances in Missions
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Grand Theft Auto IV
The Ballad of Gay Tony
- In the mission "No Way on the Subway", there are several derailed trains under the Algonquin Bridge to add blockades when the player is chasing a Lost MC biker. They also feature unique train horns.
- In the mission "Bang Bang", Luis can blow up a uniquely destructible train.
- In the mission "For the Man Who Has Everything", one train carriage can be uncoupled to be stolen. They will also smoke whilst being hit by bullets and exploding Police Mavericks and Annihilators. Like the ones in "No Way on the Subway", they feature unique horns and its formation is also scripted (six cars instead of the usual two/three cars).
- In the mission "Bringing the House Down", early 20th century-style subway cars can be found abandoned in the old subway tunnels.
- The GTA IV variant has rollsigns and line indicators, and is the first train in the series to have them. However, they are a fixed part of the train's texture file, and therefore are fixed, no matter the line. In addition, they are inaccurate (and contradict real life rollsigns and line indicators) in several ways:
- The route symbol sign states "K - Happiness Island", even though Happiness Island is completely inaccessible by trains.
- The rollsign states "Sundance St., Sth. Slopes" - this most likely refers to Schottler Station in Broker (it is on the border of the South Slops neighborhood, and it has a Sundance St. exit) - but Schottler is not served by K trains, only 3 and 8.
- Pedestrians will tend to spawn inside the cars if the player is not looking inside, even if the player has seen all the NPCs leaving the subway cars.
- In addition, if you open the camera phone's camera mode (or activate the interior color camera mode in a trainer) you can see the pedestrians spawn in their seats as the train enters the station, even if the car was completely empty.
- Yusuf Amir claims he wants to open an underwater hotel with a unique Subway submarine that can give tours.
- Despite the HD Universe rendition being based on an R32, the metal bars attached directly below the ceiling in the subway car appear to bear LED boards seen on modern subway cars.
- The Subway Cars will travel in the opposite direction during any of its mission appearances.