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All aboard! Vintage train exhibit chugs into Brighton Beach

Training day: A series of vintage trains from the early 20th century will set off from the Brighton Beach station on Sept. 28 and 29.
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Take a ride down memory train!

Antique subway cars will transport riders to the early 20th century later this month, shuttling passengers on round-trip rides from Brighton Beach Station for the swipe of a MetroCard. The New York Transit Museum’s “Parade of Trains” event, coming to Brighton Beach for its fifth year on Sept. 28 and 29, will showcase four distinct trains spanning six decades of New York City history.

One of the featured antiques, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit elevated car, is among the oldest in the Museum’s collection. The 1903 train was the first motorized subway in the borough, and carried passengers in wooden cars equipped with metal gates, with then-new-fangled electric lights hanging overhead.

The elevated transport is not only among the oldest in the city — it is one of the oldest in the country, said the Museum’s director.

“We are extremely fortunate to have some of the oldest rolling stock in the U.S. that still rolls,” said Concetta Bencivenga. “And what better way to ensure that remains the case than to bring the heart of the Museum to the rails in Brighton Beach?”

Three other trains will join the 1903 train cars in transporting visitors to different eras in the subway’s history, from 1910 to 1960.

One of the four trains will set off every few minutes from the Brighton Beach Station, either making a short round trip to Ocean Parkway and back (one station away), or taking a longer trip to Kings Highway (four stations away) — although the doors will only open at Brighton Beach.

The event will be a sort of homecoming for the locomotives, many of which originally rode along Brighton Beach’s shoreline.

In 1877, a local transit company built elevated train lines in Coney Island and Brighton Beach, shuttling visitors to and from the island’s resorts, according to subway historians. The original Brighton Beach Station, built in 1878, was one of the steam train stops, and remains one of the borough’s oldest subway terminals.

Between rides, history buffs will be able to visit the Transit Museum’s stand inside the Brighton Beach Station, where they can get information on the trains, as well as free temporary tattoos, which will depict vintage trains, buses and conductors badges.

“Parade of Trains” at Brighton Beach Station [on Brighton Beach Avenue between Brighton Sixth and Brighton Seventh streets. (718) 694–1600. www.nytransitmuseum.org]. Sept. 28 and 29; 11 a.m.–4 p.m. $2.75.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams
Posted 12:00 am, September 23, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Larry Penner from Great Neck says:
Riding the old subway cars reminds me of a time when it was common to find both penny gum and soda machines dispensing products at many subway stations. Clean and safe bathrooms were readily available. It was a time when people respected authority and law. Previous generations of riders did not litter subway stations and buses, by leaving behind gum, candy wrappers, paper cups, bottles and newspapers. No one would openly eat pizza, chicken or other messy foods while riding a bus or subway. Everyone paid their way and there was no fare evasion. Previous generations of both bus and subway riders survived daily commutes with no air conditioning. All they had for comfort were overhead fans. Air conditioned buses and subway cars that we all take for granted today were virtually non existent up until the time of the 1964-65 Worlds Fair. Air conditioned buses were still a novelty. It was not until 1966, that NYC Transit first purchased over 600 buses with this new feature. Subsequently, all future new buses would include air conditioning. By the early 1990's, 100% of the bus fleet was air conditioned. In 1967, NYC Transit introduced the first ten air conditioned subway cars operating on the old IND system (Independent municipal NYC built, financed and operated A, C, E. F & G lines). It was not until 1975, that air conditioned subway cars were introduced on the old IRT (NYC private franchised Independent Rapid Transit system operated 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Franklin Avenue and Times Square shuttle lines). Subsequently, this also included the old BMT (NYC private franchised Brooklyn Manhattan Transit system B, D, J, L, M, N, Q, R & Z lines), It took until 1982 to retrofit all the original IRT "Redbird" series subway cars. By 1993, 99% of the NYC 6,000 subway cars were air conditioned with the exception of a handful running on the #7 Flushing line. (Larry Penner is a transportation historian, writer and advocate who previously worked 31 years for the United States Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for the MTA, NYC Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road MTA Bus along with 30 other transit agencies in NY & NJ).
Sept. 23, 7:16 am
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
At least my favorite part of the MTA is the nostogic subway cars, especially from the New York Transit Museum. I wish I can take those someday.
Sept. 23, 7:16 am
SAM ORIO says:
Great story about the old subway cars and people were civil with each other on the rides my father worked for the B M T transit company on the FRANKLIN AVENUE route BEFORE IT WAS BROUGHT BY NEW YORK CITY.
Sept. 27, 7:11 pm

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