Archive for the tag 'nostalgia train'

Nostalgia Train via MTA on Flickr

Nostalgia Train via MTA on Flickr

If you’re looking for fun outside of the neighborhood this weekend, and have a young (or old) train fan in your life, be sure to catch the MTA’s Holiday Nostalgia Train, running along the M line between 2nd Avenue and Queens Plaza on Sundays (10am to 5pm) through December 28.

The cars, originally in service between the 1930s and 1970s, ran along the lettered lines from the Grand Concourse to Coney Island and have everything from ceiling fans and padded seats to incandescent light bulbs and vintage advertisements.

It’s definitely a great (and inexpensive…there’s no admission outside of your normal subway fare) family activity to check out this holiday season.

For more information on the nostalgia train, and other special events taking place this month, visit the MTA website.

Photo via the MTA

- Christine Bush

In 2009, some riders dressed up to ride the nostalgia train. Hubba-hubba. (Photo by Allan Rosen)

THE COMMUTE: It’s time to take a break from cleaning Superstorm Sandy’s remains out of your basement. It’s time to forget your problems and take a brief, cheap vacation into the times of yesteryear by riding the Nostalgia Train.

Yes, the MTA has brought back this popular feature of the holiday season every Sunday from Thanksgiving to Christmas. You can board at the Second Avenue Station in Manhattan, where the train has a 20-minute layover making it easy to conveniently walk between cars to see the different cars in operation, and read and photograph all the old time advertisements.

You can also board at Queens Plaza or any station in between on the M line, where it operates. The train, however, does not linger at Queens Plaza. You have to get off and go to the Manhattan-bound platform for the trip back unless you are on the final trip of the day. In that case, you would have to take the E or the R back to Manhattan and transfer to a Brooklyn-bound train there.

In past years, there have been jazz bands and riders dressed in period costumes. This is a great family event and a fun time is had by all, those who remember riding these trains with the wicker seats and incandescent light bulbs and those for whom this is a new experience. Whatever you do, do not wait until the last minute. Since these trains only operate once a year and are maintained by volunteers, they are not in the best operating condition and can break down with some trips being canceled. So allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy this yearly event for the price of a subway fare. Next year it will cost more, and if you want to ride these old trains during other times of the year on other routes, other than from Grand Central to Yankee Stadium, you can expect to pay at least $40 per person for trips arranged by the New York Transit Museum.

So take advantage of this bargain while you can. You will find everyone in a festive holiday mood speaking to each other, unlike your typical morning commute. Here is the schedule and more details about the train.

The Commute is a weekly feature highlighting news and information about the city’s mass transit system and transportation infrastructure. It is written by Allan Rosen, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981).

Disclaimer: The above is an opinion column and may not represent the thoughts or position of Sheepshead Bites. Based upon their expertise in their respective fields, our columnists are responsible for fact-checking their own work, and their submissions are edited only for length, grammar and clarity. If you would like to submit an opinion piece or become a regularly featured contributor, please e-mail nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

The exterior view of a 1932 R9 subway train. Source: NY Daily News

The MTA has brought back the Nostalgia Shoppers’ Special Train for the holidays. You can ride the classic R1/9 subway, which was the city’s first subway car, every Saturday until December 24.

What’s so special about this train? Well, our transit columnist Allan Rosen said it all last year:

Who wants to ride an old train?  You do, even if you are not a rail fanatic. It has become sort of a tourist attraction and some people ride the train back and forth just for the hell of it. I had quite an enjoyable time this year and last.

Bring your camera but don’t stop to take pictures at Queens Plaza because the train does not wait there.  It sits at Second Avenue for 20 to 30 minutes so there is plenty of time to wander between the cars and take pictures there. I particularly like that the train has been outfitted with very old ads.  Some of the passengers even dress up in 1920s style garb.  The best part is that there is no additional charge beyond the cost of your subway fare. It is the MTA’s holiday gift to you for enduring this year’s service cuts.

Check out the Nostalgia Train’s 2011 schedule.

An ad on the nostalgia train

by Allan Rosen

If you think you saw an ancient bus this month along Brighton Beach Avenue or Ocean Parkway, the good news is that you were not hallucinating. The MTA is running a few retired buses from its fleet along select routes as a special treat for the holidays, and the B1 is one of them.  But catching one of these buses is a hit or miss situation.

A seat on the nostalgia train

They are also operating an antique train along Sixth Avenue between Queens Plaza an Second Avenue on Sundays during the month of December and the schedule is available on their website, although it is not easy to find.

Who wants to ride an old train?  You do, even if you are not a rail fanatic. It has become sort of a tourist attraction and some people ride the train back and forth just for the hell of it. I had quite an enjoyable time this year and last.

Bring your camera but don’t stop to take pictures at Queens Plaza because the train does not wait there.  It sits at Second Avenue for 20 to 30 minutes so there is plenty of time to wander between the cars and take pictures there. I particularly like that the train has been outfitted with very old ads.  Some of the passengers even dress up in 1920s style garb.  The best part is that there is no additional charge beyond the cost of your subway fare. It is the MTA’s holiday gift to you for enduring this year’s service cuts.

Better hurry though because this Sunday is the last run of the season and if it snows you will probably be out of luck until next year.

MTA New York City Transit Adds Service for the Holidays

Source: MTA

The MTA is deploying its fleet of “nostalgia trains” and vintage buses for the holiday season, replacing lines including the B1 with vehicles from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Other bus routes running the historic fleet are the B65 in Brooklyn; S61 in Staten Island; Q13 and Q46 in Queens; M34 and M42 in Manhattan and the Bx7 and Bx30 in the Bronx.

The nostalgia train – comprised of subway cars in service from 1932 to 1977 – runs along the M line between Queens and Lower Manhattan. Ceiling fans, padded seats and incandescent light bulbs were state-of-the-art when these cars were first placed in service.

The holiday “Nostalgia Train” will operate on Sundays only, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., from November 28to December 26.

Meanwhile, the MTA is giving commuters and shoppers a little more to be cheery about. Weekends throughout December will have increased subway service to keep up with the holiday demand. Q and F train service is scheduled to run every 7.5 minutes instead of every 10 minutes.