There’s romance in New York’s trains and buses. They’re such a deep part of every New Yorker’s daily life that those trains and buses are as familiar to them as the lounge chairs at home or the cars that are used by most other Americans. The majority of New Yorkers don’t own cars, subway trains deep underground and buses that ply the streets are their cars.
So when you enter the New York Transit Mueum you are embarking on an intimate New York experience an unparalleled collection of vehicles that are a living historical record of how New Yorkers have gotten around since 1904.
One of the original 1904 elevated trains is there, the seats covered in sturdy woven straw material with the seats facing each other. My gosh, New Yorkers in 1904 must have been friendlier to each other than modern day subway passengers! And there’s the original advertisements up on the walls and outside a display of all the turnstiles that travellers have had to navigate as well as all the other equipment necessary to drive a train or bus.
Kids love this museum because they can play at being a train driver, work signals and hop in and out of trains to their hearts content. It’s a magic, nostalgic and a really tangible part of new York’s history that is there for you to clamber all over.
Elsewhere there’s a collection of vintage buses, wonderful great rumbling stainless steel monsters that once ceaselessly drove from one side of Manhattan to another. The MTA, that runs the Transit Museum puts on a displau of these buses at the annual Bus Festival and also has ‘Nostalgia Train’ days when you can ride in the old subway cars and fantasize about living in New Yor in the 1920′s or the 1940′s.
Of course, given how significant trains and buses are in New York history, the Transit Museum is hired out on a regular basis to film crews recreating railway or bus based dramas set both in the past and the present.
Beloved by all train fanatics and little boys and girls of all ages, the main transit Museum is located in Brooklyn at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street and of course you enter via a real subway entrance to waht is the now decommissioned Court Street Subway Station.
As well the MTA has opened a Transit Museum Annexe at Grand Central station. Here the fabulous Holiday Train Show is held over the December-January holiday period and it’s the biggest working model train display you are ever likely to see. Both at the main Transit Museum and at the Annexe you can buy transit themed gifts which are very popular with all train and bus lovers.