Starting today and for four Sundays through December 18th, you can take a trip back in time on a vintage NYC subway train. The annual and popular MTA vintage trains return with historic R 1/9 cars that were in service between 1932 and 1977, and you can ride into the past with the swipe of a modern MetroCard fare.
You might be old enough to remember light bulbs, woven wicker seats, ceiling fans and windows you could open before the days of air conditioning. And straps to hang on to – the reason NYC subway riders are called “straphangers”.
Last year, the MTA renamed what had been called the MTA Holiday Nostalgia Train as the “Shopper’s Special”, and hopes you will use it to shop and eat along the route, especially at locally-owned stores and restaurants.
The “Shoppers Special” R1/9 subway cars, also known as City Cars, ran on the lettered lines now known as , , , on what was then the IND line, for Independent Subway System. That was before the IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit) numbered lines (1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 6) and BMT (Brooklyn Manhattan Transit (N, R, Q, etc) merged with the IND to become the MTA.
The R 1/9 City Car is what you would have taken between Columbus Circle and 125th Street, if you followed the music of Duke Ellington, who told you to “Take the A Train.”
The “Shoppers Special” vintage trains run via the Sixth Ave. Line between Second Ave. and Queens Plaza on the following dates: November 27, December 4, December 11 and December 18, making local stops between Queens Plaza and Second Ave. on the Lower East Side.
Leaves Second Ave/ Leaves Queens Plaza
- 10:05 a.m./ 10:44 a.m.
- 11:13 a.m./ 12:14 p.m.
- 1:03 p.m. / 1:44 p.m.
- 2:33 p.m. / 3:14 p.m.
- 4:03 p.m. / 4:44 p.m.
The vintage trains are the same price as a regular MetroCard ride, and run between 1om and 5pm December 6, 13, 20, and 27, making local stops on the Sixth Avene Line, between Queens Plaza and Second Ave. on the Lower East Side.
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Take the kids to ride the MTA Nostalgia Train. They’ll think it’s fun.
Take grammie and pops. They’ll love the memories.
Happy holiday riding from NYC on the Cheap.
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