New York Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum The NY Transit Museum is a unique museum devoted to the impact of public transportation on the development of the New York metropolitan region.
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Visit us in Downtown Brooklyn, at our Gallery Annex at Grand Central Terminal, or our 2 Broadway store!

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Omnibuses, horsecars, carriages and streetcars caused gridlock long before cars did. In the 1920s, electrified trolleys ...
05/04/2021

Omnibuses, horsecars, carriages and streetcars caused gridlock long before cars did. In the 1920s, electrified trolleys traversed nearly every major street and thoroughfare. Maps showing the spiderweb of routes frustrated riders who could not tell where they had to pay separate fares. When the streetcar heyday ended in the 1940s and ‘50s, buses replaced trolleys often running on the same routes and designated by the original numbers of the trolley lines they replaced.

This #NYTMCollection 1974 Bronx Bus Guide by Michael Hertz Associates used different colors to designate bus routes and help map users more easily keep track of their destination. Much like the subway diagram designed by Massimo Vignelli and Unimark in the same era, the Bronx bus map used color coding to distinguish often overlapping routes.

Omnibuses, horsecars, carriages and streetcars caused gridlock long before cars did. In the 1920s, electrified trolleys traversed nearly every major street and thoroughfare. Maps showing the spiderweb of routes frustrated riders who could not tell where they had to pay separate fares. When the streetcar heyday ended in the 1940s and ‘50s, buses replaced trolleys often running on the same routes and designated by the original numbers of the trolley lines they replaced.

This #NYTMCollection 1974 Bronx Bus Guide by Michael Hertz Associates used different colors to designate bus routes and help map users more easily keep track of their destination. Much like the subway diagram designed by Massimo Vignelli and Unimark in the same era, the Bronx bus map used color coding to distinguish often overlapping routes.

When subway unification took place in 1940, few steps were taken to streamline the jumble of signs and service changes t...
05/03/2021

When subway unification took place in 1940, few steps were taken to streamline the jumble of signs and service changes that occurred when three separate operating companies combined into one. To address the growing confusion, the design firm Unimark was hired in 1967 to redesign and improve the NYCTA’s wayfinding and signage. Part of their plan was to use only one typeface across all signage, called Standard (or Akzidenz Grotesk). Standard originated in the late 19th century and was a good choice for easily readable information. However, as more digital sign making tools adopted similar Helvetica as the replacement for Standard, it became challenging for the MTA to continue its use. Helvetica became the official typeface for the New York City Subway in 1989.

These #ThenandNow photographs depict Unimark’s Standard signage at Bowling Green in 1980, alongside a photograph of the Helvetica signage we know today. A key concept in Unimark’s design standard mandated offering directional choices to people only when they needed to decide, such as by staircases or escalators.

#TodayinHistory: Taken #OnThisDay in 1910 by subway construction photographer Granville W. Pullis, these #NYTMCollection...
05/02/2021

#TodayinHistory: Taken #OnThisDay in 1910 by subway construction photographer Granville W. Pullis, these #NYTMCollection photos show the horse shoer, carriage maker, and wooden houses that once occupied Brooklyn's 4th Avenue.

Did you know that 4th Avenue has been the destination for vehicle repair for more than a century? Known as a paradise for auto body repairs and parts today, at the turn of the last century it was the place to go to tend to your horse and carriage. This was because the primary source of traffic along 4th Avenue were horse-drawn omnibuses, streetcars, and carts, bringing people (both dead and alive) to Green-Wood Cemetery. As cars became more plentiful, and horses were no longer the preferred motive power for vehicles, car-related businesses began replacing equine-centric services.

Subway construction photographs are an invaluable resource for tracing the design history of the system. Taken by Granvi...
05/02/2021

Subway construction photographs are an invaluable resource for tracing the design history of the system. Taken by Granville W. Pullis, this #NYTMCollection photograph shows the 9th Street subway entrance in Brooklyn in 1910. Street-level subway entrances such as this one combined design elements of both the IRT and the BMT—indicative of the Dual Contracts under which the 4th Avenue BMT line in Brooklyn was being built.

Subway construction photographs are an invaluable resource for tracing the design history of the system. Taken by Granville W. Pullis, this #NYTMCollection photograph shows the 9th Street subway entrance in Brooklyn in 1910. Street-level subway entrances such as this one combined design elements of both the IRT and the BMT—indicative of the Dual Contracts under which the 4th Avenue BMT line in Brooklyn was being built.

In the 1800s, horsecars and omnibuses operated by dozens of companies dominated the streets. As they competed fiercely f...
05/01/2021

In the 1800s, horsecars and omnibuses operated by dozens of companies dominated the streets. As they competed fiercely for customers, ornamental signage was used as a dual purpose, to lure customers away from rival operator, and make sure they knew where they were going. Destinations were painted on the side of the vehicles and routes were color coded. Not only did each line have its own hue, but lights on the cars were also colored. Many guidebooks would describe cars according to their light and color combination to assist visitors.

This #NYTMCollection photograph from the Harvey Mordetsky Collection depicts a Second Avenue Railway horsecar in the mid-1800s. When electric streetcars and motor coaches replaced horse-power vehicles, these easy types of identification methods were carried over.

In the 1800s, horsecars and omnibuses operated by dozens of companies dominated the streets. As they competed fiercely for customers, ornamental signage was used as a dual purpose, to lure customers away from rival operator, and make sure they knew where they were going. Destinations were painted on the side of the vehicles and routes were color coded. Not only did each line have its own hue, but lights on the cars were also colored. Many guidebooks would describe cars according to their light and color combination to assist visitors.

This #NYTMCollection photograph from the Harvey Mordetsky Collection depicts a Second Avenue Railway horsecar in the mid-1800s. When electric streetcars and motor coaches replaced horse-power vehicles, these easy types of identification methods were carried over.

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1939, the IND World’s Fair Railroad officially opened after 8 days of testing on the spur...
04/30/2021

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1939, the IND World’s Fair Railroad officially opened after 8 days of testing on the spur line. The World’s Fair Railroad was proposed in late 1936 and construction begun in early 1938 by P.T. Cox Contracting Company. It was a continuation of the IND Queens Boulevard line and only had one station on the eastern side of Flushing Meadows- Corona Park. Passengers paid an extra five cents for express service to the World’s Fair upon entering or leaving the World’s Fair Terminal Station. The station was served by the GG train from Smith-Ninth Streets at all times and the E during rush hours and evenings from Hudson Terminal (now World Trade Center)

The BMT and IRT had special service to the World’s Fair as well, but the services ran over pre-existing lines, while the IND line was built with the idea that it would be removed shortly after the fair concluded in 1940. However, many residents in Queens rallied for the line to be kept in regular service. Unfortunately, the line was only ever intended to be used temporarily and the wooden trestle that it was built upon was not constructed for long-term use. New regulations required all new permanent subway lines to be built underground and the IND World’s Fair Railroad was decommissioned.

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1939, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge opened to traffic. Prior to the opening of the Bronx-Wh...
04/29/2021

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1939, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge opened to traffic. Prior to the opening of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, the RFK Bridge, five miles to the west, provided the only connection for vehicles traveling between Queens and the Bronx. The bridge opened to traffic just 23 months after the first construction contract was awarded so that motorists could use the bridge on April 30th, the opening day of the 1939 World’s Fair. Today, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge looks just as beautiful as when it served as the gateway to the fair’s “World of Tomorrow.”

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1939, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge opened to traffic. Prior to the opening of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, the RFK Bridge, five miles to the west, provided the only connection for vehicles traveling between Queens and the Bronx. The bridge opened to traffic just 23 months after the first construction contract was awarded so that motorists could use the bridge on April 30th, the opening day of the 1939 World’s Fair. Today, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge looks just as beautiful as when it served as the gateway to the fair’s “World of Tomorrow.”

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1973, the Third Avenue El made its final journey along remaining tracks in the Bronx betw...
04/28/2021

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1973, the Third Avenue El made its final journey along remaining tracks in the Bronx between 149th Street and Gun Hill and White Plains Roads. The next day, Bx55 bus service replaced the Third Avenue Elevated railway, stopping at each of the El’s former stations.

As the last of four Manhattan north-south elevated lines built between 1868 and 1880, the Third Avenue Elevated helped to develop Yorkville and East Harlem as residential areas and was extended to the Bronx beginning in 1887, reaching Fordham Road by 1901. Originally operated by the New York Elevated Railway, it was later acquired by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT)

Join us tomorrow at 6:30pm for a memorial tour honoring the life and work of transit expert, author, photographer, histo...
04/26/2021

Join us tomorrow at 6:30pm for a memorial tour honoring the life and work of transit expert, author, photographer, historic preservationist, public servant, and #NYCsubway hero Benjamin W. Schaeffer. RSVP now at nytransitmuseum.org/programs.

Join us tomorrow at 6:30pm for a memorial tour honoring the life and work of transit expert, author, photographer, historic preservationist, public servant, and #NYCsubway hero Benjamin W. Schaeffer. RSVP now at nytransitmuseum.org/programs.

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1956, the remainder of the BMT Fulton Street El was discontinued. Originally known as the...
04/26/2021

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1956, the remainder of the BMT Fulton Street El was discontinued. Originally known as the Kings County Elevated Railway, the line was opened in April of 1888, providing service from two western terminals at the Fulton Ferry and the Brooklyn Bridge to Nostrand Avenue. In July of 1888 the Fulton Street Elevated was incorporated and in September of the same year the line was extended to Ralph Avenue. Over the next three decades, the line was extended multiple times, finally reaching Lefferts Avenue – 119th Street.

In 1936, the Independent Subway System (IND) opened the Fulton Street Subway directly below the elevated line, rendering much of the Fulton Street El obsolete. Three days after the Fulton Street El was discontinued Fulton Street subway trains began using the line east of Hudson Street. The remaining segment of the Fulton Street El is used today by the A train.

In April 1939, the World’s Fair Railroad opened as a temporary branch of the Independent Subway System (IND) to provide ...
04/25/2021

In April 1939, the World’s Fair Railroad opened as a temporary branch of the Independent Subway System (IND) to provide service to the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Proposed in late 1936, construction began in 1938 by P.T. Cox Contracting Company, as a continuation of the IND Queens Boulevard line consisting of only one station. The station was on the eastern side of Flushing Meadows - Corona Park and featured just two tracks and three platforms.

Passengers paid an extra five cents for the IND's express service to the World’s Fair upon entering or leaving the World’s Fair Terminal Station. The station was served by the GG train from Smith-Ninth Streets at all times and the E during rush hours and evenings from Hudson Terminal (now World Trade Center)

This #NYTMCollection photograph from the Vincent Lee Collection depicts a train at the IND World’s Fair station in 1939. Because the World’s Fair had two seasons, from April to October in 1939 and in 1940, the IND discontinued service between each season. The last train ran on the World’s Fair Railroad line on October 28, 1940.

In April 1939, the World’s Fair Railroad opened as a temporary branch of the Independent Subway System (IND) to provide service to the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Proposed in late 1936, construction began in 1938 by P.T. Cox Contracting Company, as a continuation of the IND Queens Boulevard line consisting of only one station. The station was on the eastern side of Flushing Meadows - Corona Park and featured just two tracks and three platforms.

Passengers paid an extra five cents for the IND's express service to the World’s Fair upon entering or leaving the World’s Fair Terminal Station. The station was served by the GG train from Smith-Ninth Streets at all times and the E during rush hours and evenings from Hudson Terminal (now World Trade Center)

This #NYTMCollection photograph from the Vincent Lee Collection depicts a train at the IND World’s Fair station in 1939. Because the World’s Fair had two seasons, from April to October in 1939 and in 1940, the IND discontinued service between each season. The last train ran on the World’s Fair Railroad line on October 28, 1940.

#TodayinHistory: In the early morning of April 24th, 1865, Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train arrived in Jersey City, New J...
04/24/2021

#TodayinHistory: In the early morning of April 24th, 1865, Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train arrived in Jersey City, New Jersey where the car carrying his coffin was uncoupled and loaded onto a ferryboat at Pennsylvania Railroad’s Exchange Place Station. Arriving at the Desbrosses Street pier, Lincoln’s coffin was placed onto a horse-drawn carriage complete with a glass hearse and led along Canal Street and Broadway as thousands of people lined the streets. The procession arrived at City Hall where, for the next twenty-four hours, Lincoln’s coffin would be on display for New Yorkers to pay their respects.

On April 25th, with a schedule to keep, the procession left City Hall at 12:30pm and headed uptown toward the Hudson River Railroad Depot at 27th Street. Here Lincoln was reunited with his funeral train car. At 4:15pm the train left the depot and departed Manhattan, heading northbound along the Hudson River for Albany.

#TodayinHistory: In the early morning of April 24th, 1865, Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train arrived in Jersey City, New Jersey where the car carrying his coffin was uncoupled and loaded onto a ferryboat at Pennsylvania Railroad’s Exchange Place Station. Arriving at the Desbrosses Street pier, Lincoln’s coffin was placed onto a horse-drawn carriage complete with a glass hearse and led along Canal Street and Broadway as thousands of people lined the streets. The procession arrived at City Hall where, for the next twenty-four hours, Lincoln’s coffin would be on display for New Yorkers to pay their respects.

On April 25th, with a schedule to keep, the procession left City Hall at 12:30pm and headed uptown toward the Hudson River Railroad Depot at 27th Street. Here Lincoln was reunited with his funeral train car. At 4:15pm the train left the depot and departed Manhattan, heading northbound along the Hudson River for Albany.

In March 1962, the pioneering urban bus operator in the United States suddenly ended NYC bus service. Join long-time Tra...
04/24/2021

In March 1962, the pioneering urban bus operator in the United States suddenly ended NYC bus service. Join long-time Transit Museum volunteer, CUNY instructor, and historian Andrew Sparberg TODAY at 1:30pm for a digital discussion about the management-provoked strike that spurred the end of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company and the prominent business, political, and labor leaders who played key roles in the drama. RSVP now at nytransitmuseum.org/programs.

In March 1962, the pioneering urban bus operator in the United States suddenly ended NYC bus service. Join long-time Transit Museum volunteer, CUNY instructor, and historian Andrew Sparberg TODAY at 1:30pm for a digital discussion about the management-provoked strike that spurred the end of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company and the prominent business, political, and labor leaders who played key roles in the drama. RSVP now at nytransitmuseum.org/programs.

An avid enthusiast of transportation and photography, Ralph Curcio was an employee of the Times of Trenton for over 40 y...
04/23/2021

An avid enthusiast of transportation and photography, Ralph Curcio was an employee of the Times of Trenton for over 40 years. Taking on many roles throughout his career, Curcio continued a lifelong love of trains and trolleys, and often photographed them during his vacations. After his death in 2012, his impressive photographic collection was taken into care by his longtime friend, Daniel McFadden. This photograph of the Livonia Avenue station on the BMT Canarsie Line is just one of approximately 2,561 slides from New York Transit Museum's Ralph Curcio collection.

Opened on July 28th, 1906, the Livonia Avenue station is an elevated station on the BMT’s Canarsie Line (today’s L train) in Brooklyn. As shown in this photo, the line crosses under the IRT New Lots line (today’s 3 and 4 trains). Have you visited the Livonia Avenue station?

An avid enthusiast of transportation and photography, Ralph Curcio was an employee of the Times of Trenton for over 40 years. Taking on many roles throughout his career, Curcio continued a lifelong love of trains and trolleys, and often photographed them during his vacations. After his death in 2012, his impressive photographic collection was taken into care by his longtime friend, Daniel McFadden. This photograph of the Livonia Avenue station on the BMT Canarsie Line is just one of approximately 2,561 slides from New York Transit Museum's Ralph Curcio collection.

Opened on July 28th, 1906, the Livonia Avenue station is an elevated station on the BMT’s Canarsie Line (today’s L train) in Brooklyn. As shown in this photo, the line crosses under the IRT New Lots line (today’s 3 and 4 trains). Have you visited the Livonia Avenue station?

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99 Schermerhorn Street
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Located at 99 Schermerhorn Street Brooklyn, NY 11201, and accessible by over 20 subway and bus lines.

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About the New York Transit Museum

Found in 1976, the New York Transit Museum is one of only a few museums in the world dedicated to telling the story of urban public transportation. The Museum collects, exhibits, interprets, and preserves the history, sociology, and technology of public transportation systems in the New York metropolitan region, and conducts research and educational programs that make our extensive collections accessible and meaningful to a broad audience.

The Transit Museum is committed to preserving the stories of the people behind transportation – the extraordinary engineers, the workers who labored in the tunnels over 100 years ago, the communities that were drastically transformed, and the ever-evolving technology, design, and ridership of a system that runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Housed underground in an authentic 1936 subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, the Transit Museum’s main location spans a full city block, with a working platform that is home to a rotating selection of twenty vintage subway and elevated cars dating back to the early 1900s. Between our main location and our Gallery at Grand Central Terminal, the Transit Museum welcomes more than half a million visitors every year.

Transit Museum visitors can explore the vintage cars, sit at the wheel of a city bus, step through a time tunnel of turnstiles, and explore changing exhibits that highlight the cultural, social and technological history — and future — of mass transit.

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Does anyone recognize this man? I met him in February 2020 in Central Park in New York and would like to get in touch with him.
This book is biographical fiction based on the life of Emily Warren Roebling considered to be highly instrumental in the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Kirkus Review calls it "A sensitive and comprehensive exploration of an exceptional historical figure."
Some shots, well worth showing, that I got back when I last went to NYC and travelled on the fast disappearing R32 fleet on a journey I took on a C train from Hoyt Schermerhorn out to Euclid Avenue. This set was taken aboard set 3806/3807.
The original West Farms Depot was located at 1857 Boston Road, just north of the 174th Street subway station in the Crotona Park East section of the Bronx (40.838570°N 73.886526°W). The site consisted of two maintenance buildings, one on a triangular plot bound by East 175th Street, Southern Boulevard, and Boston Road, and the second on the north side of 175th Street and the Cross Bronx Expressway on the east. Built in 1894 by the Union Railway as a car barn, it was used to store and maintain buses until April 3, 1983, when it was closed and replaced by the Walnut Depot, and later the Gun Hill Depot. Before it closed in early 1983, it serviced the following Bronx Local Routes; Bx3 Prospect/Crotona Av's (now Bx17), Bx11 170 Street/Claremont Pkwy. Crosstown, Bx25 Morris/Jerome Av's (now Bx32), Bx26 Boston Road/Morris Park Av (now Bx21), Bx28 Williamsbridge (now Bx39), Bx29 125 Street X-Town & Willis/Third Av's (now Bx15 & Bx15 LTD), Bx31 145/149 Street X-Town & Southern Blvd (now Bx19), Bx32 Saint Ann's Avenue (discontinued in 1984), Bx34 155/163 Street Crosstown & Hunts Point Av (now Bx6), Bx35 167/169 Street's Crosstown, Bx41 Webster Av-White Plains Road, Bx42 Westchester Avenue (now Bx4/Bx4A), and Bx49 Highbridge (discontinued and combined with Bx13). The buildings continued to stand as recently as 2002, decaying and becoming havens for crime. The depot has since been demolished, replaced by housing developments and a self storage facility. The nearby Coliseum Depot was renamed the West Farms Depot when it reopened in 2003. Text courtesy of Wikipedia.
This is the MaBSTOA 132nd Street garage and shop in the mid 1970's. 132nd-133rd streets west of Broadway in Harlem.
how do you access the virtual nostalgic train show?
Have you been on the subway?? Then I want to hear from you! The Subway Portraits Podcast features stories from people's experiences riding on NYC's subway. Episodes contain stories told by riders that range from interesting, horrifying, hilarious, and all that's in between. Check out the show and potentially share your story.
N train R68A
N train R68