Thursday, July 1, 2010

New York Transit Museum Takes The Exhibits To The Streets

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The New York Transit Museum is taking a few of its ‘exhibits' out for a spin, offering an unforgettable adventure July 31 and August 21, 2010. Passengers will experience the flickering lights, soft seating, and gentle rumble of 1930s and 1940s subway travel onboard the Museum fleet of pre-WWII R 1/9 subway cars. Be sure not to miss the double dose of Nostalgia in August, as the rail fleet travels to the Rockaways for day-long bus rides onboard the fleet of historic buses from the 1940s and 1950s. Says Roxanne Robertson, director of special projects at the New York Transit Museum, "Nostalgia Train and Bus excursions offer the public a chance to relax and enjoy the ride. While most people are focused on their commute from point "A" to point "B," Nostalgia excursions are about the journey and the equipment, not about rushing to the next destination."

Both Nostalgia Train excursions will depart from the New York Transit Museum's decommissioned Court Street subway station at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn Heights. Tickets are still available for the remaining two excursions -- Adults: $45; Children $20; Museum Members $30; and Children of Museum Members $15. For tickets and reservations call (718) 694-1867.

The "Coney Island Bound" excursion on July 31, 2010, offers passengers a day at the beach or additional rides on the 1930s - 1940s R 1/9 pre World War II rolling stock. Dine on Coney Island's famous franks and lemonade, or chow down on world class salt-water taffy and other tasty seaside treats. The IND revenue series subway cars known as the R1 - R9s, all entered operation in the 1930s. The first cars ordered (R-1) were numbered 100 - 399 series and operated on the new Independent Subway's 8th Avenue line beginning in 1932. They featured wicker seats, overhead fans, porcelain hand-holds and poles offering more spacious seating than their IRT and BMT counterparts.

Each IND R 1/9 subway car was built within a sixty-foot, six inch length and contained 60 seats in a mixed pattern of cross and lengthwise seating. The interior arrangements were standard IND design for many years. Nicknamed "City Cars", they retained the same basic design and mechanical systems with a riveted shell and utilitarian green paint that epitomized the somber industrial look of the Depression years. Yet, even with the depression-era somberness of that time period, the 8th Avenue IND "A" line inspired the classic swing number, Billy Strayhorn's "Take the ‘A' Train" that Duke Ellington made famous. The R 1/9 class of subway cars delivered more than 45 years of continually reliable service.

The Transit Museum's final scheduled Nostalgia Train for the 2010 season departs August 21, 2010 and is headed "To the Rockaways, By Rail and Bus!" The vintage R1/9 railcars will take passengers from the New York Transit Museum and across Jamaica Bay to Rockaway Park, arriving just in time for lunch (not included). Here you may stroll on the beach, travel by vintage bus to Gateway National Park or even take turns riding on the assorted 1940's and 1950's vintage buses, which will be operating continuously. At the end of the day, you may ride the museum train back to downtown Brooklyn or midtown Manhattan or, for an extra $5.00, ride a vintage bus across Jamaica Bay and through Brooklyn back to the Broadway Junction - East New York ‘A' line subway station. Select buses from the Museum fleet (c. 1940s & 1950s) will provide mid-day bus rides at Rockaway Park on August 21, 2010.

Reservations and advance payment are highly recommended and Museum membership offers substantial year-round discounts. For Nostalgia Train reservations call 718-694-1867.