‘Nostalgia Train’ is Back on the Rails this Holiday Season

Posted on: December 4th, 2019 at 5:07 am by

December 2010

All aboard! The Nostalgia Train is back.

The New York Transit Museum and the MTA has again brought the festive flavor of yesteryear to the underground. The preserved 1930s R1-9 train cars are now in regular rotation every Sunday from now until New Year’s, an annual tradition on the rails since 2007.

The weekend train begins its journey at the 2nd Avenue F station and switches to the Eighth Avenue Line at West 4th, continuing up to 125th Street.

The only ticket to ride straphangers need is a Metrocard.

Here’s a bit of backstory, courtesy of the New York Transit Museum:

When the IND subway — the first subway company operated by the City of New York — opened in 1932, it had a mission to move more people more quickly than its private competitors, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT). Over 1,000 nearly identical subway cars were delivered between 1930 and 1940 under contracts, R1, R4, R6, R7, and R9. The cars were modern for their time, fitting in very well with the IND’s Depression-Era Art Deco aesthetic, and each could hold nearly 300 passengers. Upon delivery, they featured rattan seats, paddle ceiling fans (installed before the age of air conditioning), incandescent light bulbs, roll signs, and period advertisements. These cars, which inspired Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the A Train”, went into service on the Eighth Avenue line (today’s A, C, E) in 1932 and ran until 1977. Today, they are preserved as part of the New York Transit Museum’s collection.

The Nostalgia Trains will be in service every Sunday through the end of the year. Keep an eye out for the swing parties, too.

Visit the Transit Museum for all station stops and departure schedules this holiday season (weather permitting).

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