Every year New Yorkers get a chance to go back in time and use MTA’s store of old vintage trains and buses and to also see scale models of some trains long gone. It’s exciting, nostalgic and great fun for everyone who loves trains and buses. What strikes a modern day traveller on a vintage train is how luxurious they are. We are all used to very utilitarian and easy to clean trains and buses with lots of hard plastic and fluorescent lights. Yet look at this video of a 1930′s train: they have swish padded seats, incandescent lights and ceiling fans and a spaciousness we would all kill for today.
The MTA gives these old beauties a run each year in late November and during December. They are only operating on the M Line between Queens Plaza and Second ave on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-5pm on Dec 7th, 14th,21st and 28th. These are after all magnificent old relics and they’re not really up to running to a modern timetable of use. But the opportunity to step back in time is seductive. It’s quite a shock when you see people in the video snapping pics on their smart phones of their fellow travellers on these old trains, a clash of cultures if ever there was one.
The vintage buses can be ridden on the M 42 crosstown route. The ones available for you to catch will include the first air conditioned bus and the last one to not have wheelchair access. Most of the buses are either prior to 1959 or they are the new look ones introduced in the 1970′s. The buses will run from Mon-Fri Dec 1st to Dec 19th.
However anyone with an interest in old trains will almost definitely be visiting the MTA’s Annual Holiday Train show at the New York Transit Museum’s annexe at Grand Central Station. There they will see many terrific models of vintage trains dating from the 1800′s along with great train layouts on which you can see the model trains zipping around. Open from now until Feb 22, the hours are Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm and Sunday 10am-7pm. These activities a must do for all old train lovers in NYC for Christmas holidays