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NYC Transit subway crew radios

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W2IRT

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Hi all,
I have a few questions about the crew radios used by train operators and conductors on the NYC Subway system. The last time I visited this topic most crew portables were older Bendix-King bricks channeled out for just the three road frequencies (in repeater configuration, separate TX and RX) plus the one simplex yard channel.

Now that Vertex and Icom commercial radios are in common use, I'm wondering if they've added extra channels in them or if they're only equipped with the same four frequencies. Any talkarounds in use, for example, or is there now interoperability with the NYPD Transit division? Something else?

Also, are the keypads used for anything? IIRC, on the old Bendix radios, a T/O and C/R would enter some information before each trip, as well as his operator number, and those details were transmitted in the coded databursts on keydown. GE-star format, if I'm not mistaken. Is that system still in effect or do the databursts now contain other information (like lead motor for the train-mounted radios, etc)?

Thanks in advance.
 
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