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. Visit us in Downtown Brooklyn, at our Gallery Annex at Grand Central Terminal, or our 2 Broadway store!

Good morning, #NYC! Today, our 1917 BMT Standard cars are beach bound, taking straphangers on a scenic journey from 96th...
07/20/2019

Good morning, #NYC! Today, our 1917 BMT Standard cars are beach bound, taking straphangers on a scenic journey from 96th Street/2nd Avenue to Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue.

As we depart on today’s Nostalgia Ride, we want to hear from you: What’s your favorite memory from Coney Island?

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay 50 years ago, astronauts #NeilArmstrong and #BuzzAldrin made history, becoming the first hum...
07/20/2019

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay 50 years ago, astronauts #NeilArmstrong and #BuzzAldrin made history, becoming the first humans to set foot on the moon. Did you know that Grand Central Terminal played its own special part in the #SpaceRace?

#GrandCentralTerminal often showcased pioneering technology, a fitting role for a building that was itself a technological pioneer. Shortly after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, the U.S. Army erected a Redstone rocket in the Terminal to raise support for America’s space program, and show that the U.S. was a powerful contender in the Space Race. In the center of the Terminal’s celestial ceiling, just above the constellation Pisces, a small hole was made for the rocket’s stabilizing cables – look up and you can still see the hole today!

U.S. space exploration efforts again took the spotlight at Grand Central in 1962. Crowds gathered in the Terminal to watch John Glenn become the first American to orbit Earth. Live coverage was broadcast on screens in the Main Concourse by CBS News, which operated a broadcast studio in Grand Central at the time.

In 1969, New Yorkers commuting through Grand Central were among the first to see photos of the #Apollo11 mission. Kodak engineers rushed to print #NASA's just-released negatives from the #MoonLanding, and displayed the iconic images on the 18’ x 60’ Colorama in the Main Concourse, before the photos were published in print.

Do you remember where you were on July 20th, 1969? #Apollo50 #Apollo50th #Apollo11at50

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1967, the first successful train of air-conditioned subway cars entered service on the F ...
07/19/2019

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1967, the first successful train of air-conditioned subway cars entered service on the F line. The train was composed of ten R38 cars equipped with Stone Safety Air Conditioning systems. Effectively lowering the car’s temperatures to 75 degrees during off-peak hours, the successful A.C. experiment led Mayor John Lindsay to authorize the purchase of 600 more air-conditioned subway cars for the IND and BMT lines. IRT cars would wait until 1975 to receive air conditioning, due to the technical challenge of creating air-conditioning units small enough to fit narrower IRT cars.

These #NYTMCollection archival images depict the R38 cars during their inaugural year in service. Between 1987 and 1989, the R38 fleet was rebuilt by General Electric and fully equipped with air conditioning systems.

Retired between 2008 and 2009, cars 4028 and 4029 are now part of the #NYTransitMuseum’s collection of historic subway cars. What’s your favorite car in our vintage fleet?

NEW EXHIBIT: “Changing Signs, Changing Times” opens today at our Grand Central Terminal Gallery! On view through Novembe...
07/18/2019

NEW EXHIBIT: “Changing Signs, Changing Times” opens today at our Grand Central Terminal Gallery! On view through November 6th, the exhibit traces the evolution of wayfinding in transit through photographs, objects, and archival materials drawn from the #NYTransitMuseum’s vast collections. See a streetcar entrance sign dating back to c. 1901, read customer feedback letters from c. 1938-58, and explore design standards created in 1967 by Unimark’s Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda, many of which are still in place today.

Plan your visit at nytransitmuseum.org.

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1918, the IRT Lexington Avenue line opened from #GrandCentral – 42nd Street all the way t...
07/17/2019

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1918, the IRT Lexington Avenue line opened from #GrandCentral – 42nd Street all the way to 125th Street! The first portion of the line opened in 1904 with 28 stations from Downtown Manhattan to the Upper West Side, forming a “Z” shaped transit system. The expansion of the system under Contract 3 of the Dual Contracts created the current “H” shaped system. Until trains reach Grand Central Terminal, the lines run via Park Avenue South, but due to the location of Metro-North’s tracks, the line had to be oriented toward Lexington Avenue at Grand Central.

Including a new platform at Grand Central, 11 new stations opened on the East Side line that reached areas that had never been served by the subway before. Today, the Lexington Avenue line is the busiest train line in the United States, transporting over 1 million people daily. It is served by the 6 train via the local track, and the 4/5 via the express track.

These #NYTMCollection photos show construction on Lexington Avenue in 1913. Which station on the Lexington Avenue line is your favorite?

Built by the St. Louis Car Company in anticipation of the 1964 World’s Fair, R33-WF cars were very similar to the previo...
07/16/2019

Built by the St. Louis Car Company in anticipation of the 1964 World’s Fair, R33-WF cars were very similar to the previous R33s, except that they featured three-piece curved windows, instead of three-piece rectangular windows.

Although R33-WF cars are often referred to as “Bluebirds,” they have lived a thousand lives - originally painted light turquoise and white upon delivery, silver/blue in the mid-1970s, full white in the early 1980s, and then finally deep maroon red with black front bonnets and anti-climbers with silver roofs in the late 1980s.

Today, three R33-WF cars live on as a treasured part of the #NYTransitMuseum’s vintage fleet, cars 9306 and 9307 feature their original blue and white paint scheme, while 9310 is painted in the Redbird paint scheme. Love these cars? Grab a wooden bluebird model at nytransitmuseumstore.com!

Ever wonder how to operate a bus? This 1961 operators’ manual was printed specially for NYCTA by GM, when TDH-5301 model...
07/15/2019

Ever wonder how to operate a bus? This 1961 operators’ manual was printed specially for NYCTA by GM, when TDH-5301 models were beginning to hit NYC streets. Of the many that once coursed the city streets, three TDH-5301s have been preserved in the #NYTransitMuseum’s vintage rolling stock collection: #100, delivered in 1959, #1059, delivered in 1961 and #2151, delivered in 1962. This model was part of the exciting “New Look” buses which signified a major stylistic and technical departure from the GM buses manufactured in the 40s and 50s.

#DidYouKnow that the MTA brought 20 subway cars from Ozone Park, Queens to the Rockaways in order to restore service aft...
07/14/2019

#DidYouKnow that the MTA brought 20 subway cars from Ozone Park, Queens to the Rockaways in order to restore service after Superstorm Sandy? Transported by flatbed trucks, the cars ran on previously unused tracks and became the temporary “H Train” shuttle, linking Far Rockaway/Mott Avenue and Beach 90th Street stations.

This #NYTMCollection photo shows crews hoisting a subway car onto a flatbed truck for transport to the Rockaways. To learn more, check out our digital “Bringing Back the City” exhibit at https://bringingbackthecity.com/.

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1907, the Fifth Avenue Coach Company became the first company to offer bus service in NYC...
07/13/2019

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1907, the Fifth Avenue Coach Company became the first company to offer bus service in NYC. Originally founded in 1896 to provide public transit via omnibus (an enclosed horse-drawn vehicle), the Fifth Avenue Coach Company added 15 motorbuses — including some double decker buses — to its fleet just a decade after opening.

Depicted in this #NYTMCollection photograph, the Fifth Avenue Coach Company used to load their double-deckers with sand bags and put them through a tilt-test to see how far to the side a bus can tilt before it tips over.

Today, one of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company’s double decker buses – known lovingly as Betsy – is a part of the Transit Museum’s collection of vintage rolling stock. Have you explored Betsy? Post your photos in the comments below!

Tickets are still available for next Saturday’s Nostalgia Ride to Coney Island! Don’t miss our beach-bound vintage train...
07/12/2019

Tickets are still available for next Saturday’s Nostalgia Ride to Coney Island! Don’t miss our beach-bound vintage train ride to “the people’s playground” – reserve your spot now at nytransitmuseum.org/coneyisland-0720.

These #NYTMCollection photographs show the Stillwell Avenue station platform in the early 1940s. As we prepare for our July 20th Nostalgia Ride, we want to hear from you: What is your favorite memory at Coney Island?

Wishing grown-ups could go to summer camp too? We’ve got great news: CAMP CATCHA-TRAIN IS BACK! Relive your adolescence ...
07/11/2019

Wishing grown-ups could go to summer camp too? We’ve got great news: CAMP CATCHA-TRAIN IS BACK! Relive your adolescence underground at our nostalgic, adults-only evening of summer camp fun. Get your craft on, make lanyards and friendship bracelets, go on a scavenger hunt, and mingle with your straphanger “bunkmates” as you explore the Transit Museum afterhours.

Sign up for Camp Catcha-Train today at nytransitmuseum.org/camp2019.

Sunny summer days are here and the #NYTransitMuseum Store has what you need for those special family barbeques! Fire up ...
07/10/2019

Sunny summer days are here and the #NYTransitMuseum Store has what you need for those special family barbeques! Fire up the grill and throw on a Metro-North Railroad or MTA LIRR apron for a sizzlin' summer look. Complete your commuter rail linens set with an oven mitt, pot holder and tea towel, and you're sure to have the best BBQ on the block.

Visit us in-store or shop at nytransitmuseumstore.com.

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1905, the IRT Lexington Avenue Line was extended south to the Bowling Green station. At t...
07/10/2019

#TodayinHistory: #OnThisDay in 1905, the IRT Lexington Avenue Line was extended south to the Bowling Green station. At the time, there was no IRT service in Brooklyn, so all Downtown bound trains on the line terminated at South Ferry. In 1908, the Joralemon Street Tunnel opened, and a second island platform was soon constructed at Bowling Green along with a third track. Once they were completed, all rush-hour trains provided service to Brooklyn, with a two-car Bowling Green – South Ferry Shuttle train.

The Bowling Green – South Ferry shuttle service continued to operate until 1977, when it was discontinued due to budget cuts. Shortly after the shuttle service was terminated, Bowling Green went through renovations, where it lost one island platform on the western side of the station and gained a side platform to the east.

Do you remember the Bowling Green – South Ferry Shuttle service?

The Myrtle Avenue El began running from Downtown Brooklyn to Queens in 1888. After eighty years, it was closed in 1969 t...
07/09/2019

The Myrtle Avenue El began running from Downtown Brooklyn to Queens in 1888. After eighty years, it was closed in 1969 to the dismay of many, and was demolished the following year.

On August 18th the #NYTransitMuseum will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Myrtle Avenue El with a Nostalgia Ride along its former route, the current M and J lines. Our R1-9 and BU gate cars will depart from Delancey/Essex Street in Manhattan and travel as far as 111th St.

Learn more at nytransitmuseum.org/myrtleavenueel/.

On Thursday, July 25th, #NYTransitMuseum archives and collections staff will share more about their work to bring a vari...
07/08/2019

On Thursday, July 25th, #NYTransitMuseum archives and collections staff will share more about their work to bring a variety of objects into our collections, and tell some of the interesting stories behind artifacts acquired by the Museum in the last ten years.

Learn more at https://www.nytransitmuseum.org/program/insidethearchives/.

A gift of William Wall, this wooden trolley destination sign is typical of signage equipment used in trolley cars during...
07/07/2019

A gift of William Wall, this wooden trolley destination sign is typical of signage equipment used in trolley cars during the first decade of the 1900s. Block signs were originally displayed in the curbside, front windows of Brooklyn trolley cars, which tended to have open ends. With the advent of newer trolleys that featured closed ends, block signs were moved to the front of the vehicle, so that passengers could easily read the final destination, or terminus, of the line. After 1912, all new trolley cars were designed with manually-cranked roll signs, but the older cars retained the block signs. The trolley cars that accommodated wooden block signs like this one were decommissioned by the end of 1948.

This block sign is currently on view in our #WhatsOldIsNewAgain exhibit. Visit the exhibit in Downtown Brooklyn to see more transit treasures from the #NYTMCollection, and stay tuned for our upcoming exhibit “Changing Signs, Changing Times” to learn even more about the history of wayfinding in transit.

In the late 1960s, 682 buses were ordered to replace the antiquated vehicles acquired by the city when it took over the ...
07/06/2019

In the late 1960s, 682 buses were ordered to replace the antiquated vehicles acquired by the city when it took over the Fifth Avenue Coach Company’s lines in 1962. This series was the first fleet of New York City buses designed and built with air-conditioning, and the buses featured large illuminated advertising signs on each side. Available in Transit Museum stores or at nytransitmuseumstore.com, these limited edition, diecast buses feature a detailed interior and period advertisements from the 1970s.

#NYCKids: Get your transit game on! Join us at the #NYTransitMuseum on Saturday, July 6th and Sunday, July 7th for famil...
07/05/2019

#NYCKids: Get your transit game on! Join us at the #NYTransitMuseum on Saturday, July 6th and Sunday, July 7th for family workshops exploring our July theme of games! At 11:30 we’ll open up our Discovery Room, where families can put together transit-themed puzzles, and even design their own transit card game! Then, at 1:30 we’ll host our very own Subway Olympics with wacky and fun competitions, including subway bowling!

Weekend family programs are free with Museum admission. To see more programs, visit nytransitmuseum.org/family.

It’s our birthday! #OnThisDay in 1976, a group of New York City Transit employees opened the New York City Transit Exhib...
07/04/2019

It’s our birthday! #OnThisDay in 1976, a group of New York City Transit employees opened the New York City Transit Exhibition, as a part of the United States Bicentennial celebrations. Over fifteen different vintage subway and elevated cars, and a variety of exhibits dedicated to the rich and sprawling history of mass transit in New York were displayed in our beloved Court Street station that had been decommissioned 30 years earlier. The exhibit was only intended to last a few months, but proved to be so popular that its run was continually extended.

In 1989, the Transit Exhibit was officially established as the New York Transit Museum, and in 1995 Friends of the New York Transit Museum, a 501c3 non-profit organization was established to promote and raise funds for the Museum’s operations, exhibits, and programming. As we mark our 43rd Anniversary, we know it would not have been possible without the support of you – our visitors, who turned a temporary exhibition into the thriving cultural institution we are today.

Celebrate with us by sharing your favorite #NYTransitMuseum memories in the comments!

What would summer be without a trip to Coney Island? On Saturday, July 20th, enjoy a scenic ride to the beach on our vin...
07/03/2019

What would summer be without a trip to Coney Island? On Saturday, July 20th, enjoy a scenic ride to the beach on our vintage BMT Standard cars. Dating back to 1917, the BMT Standard fleet represented a radical departure in subway car design. Modeled after Boston Elevated Railway cars, the Standards were 67ft long and 10ft wide, offering standing room for 182 riders and 78 seats with an additional 14 drop-down auxiliary seats. The fleet also introduced destination roll signs, larger windows, brighter lighting, and center doors operated by an easy-to-use pneumatic system for faster movement on and off cars.

Reserve your tickets now at nytransitmuseum.org/coneyisland-0720/. Don’t delay – this annual ride sells out!

Diagrammatic maps omit most or all street level information to highlight the journey underground. The iconic London Tube...
07/02/2019

Diagrammatic maps omit most or all street level information to highlight the journey underground. The iconic London Tube map by Harry Beck pioneered this type of streamlined communication as far back as 1931, but it wasn’t until 1958 that this type of map was adopted by the New York City Transit Authority.

Featured in our #NavigatingNY exhibit, the “Official New York Subway Map and Guide” was designed by George Salomon. Salomon originally proposed to assign a designated color to each line. He thought it would make more sense to distinguish each individual route, similar to Hagstrom’s Map Company model wherein each system was color-coded. Salomon’s idea was rejected until later in the century when the #NYCTA had embraced a richer color palette. In this 1958 version, the TA maintains the tri-color scheme put in place after unification.

What do you think cartographers could learn from Salomon’s map?

The Staten Island Rail Road opened on June 2, 1860, providing service from Tottenville to Stapleton. The railroad was pr...
07/01/2019

The Staten Island Rail Road opened on June 2, 1860, providing service from Tottenville to Stapleton. The railroad was primarily financed by Cornelius Vanderbilt. It was the first of Vanderbilt’s many railroad pursuits. However, by the late 1800s the #SIRR was crumbling. In 1880, the railway, renamed the Staten Island Rapid Transit Company, was acquired by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. B&O worked to expand the #SIRT with new routes, including a line from Arthur Kill on Staten Island to Jersey City, New Jersey.

The 20th Century was a period of rapid decline for the SIRT, with a major decrease in ridership and defunct lines. #OnThisDay in 1971, the line was purchased by New York City. Two years later, new R44 subway cars were put into service on the SIRT. Twenty years later in 1993, the SIRT became the MTA Staten Island Railway. Served by modified R44 subway cars, the SIR is comprised today of 21 stations that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is one of only seven mass transit rail lines in the United States that provide service 24/7.

These #NYTMCollection archival photos were taken as part of a documentation project of the line in the early 1970s. What’s your favorite station on the Staten Island Railway?

Address

99 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY
11201

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

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(718) 694-1600

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