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MTA will bring Nostalgia train to Queens Plaza in December

Photo by Christina Santucci
By Philip Newman

If it’s a ride back into the 1930s you’re looking for, why not take the Nostalgia Special from Long Island City to Manhattan during the first four Sundays next month?

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has prepared a holiday season that includes bringing back trains and buses of yesteryear, including the Nostalgia Special running on the M line between Long Island City and lower Manhattan.

“For the first four Sundays in December, subway riders will be able to catch a ride on this classic subway train at stations along the line between Queens Plaza and Second Avenue,” said Joseph Leader, New York City Transit senior vice president of the Subways Department.

“They aren’t the first subway cars, but these R-1/9 cars served for five decades and are historically significant as the rolling stock that originally served the IND.”

The Nostalgia Special is made up of subway cars in service from the 1930s to the ’70s running along the lettered lines from the Bronx’s Grand Concourse to Coney Island. They were also the cars that originated along the A line. Their ceiling fans, padded seats and incandescent light bulbs were state of the art when these cars were first put into service.

The last of the cars were removed from service more than 35 years ago and replaced by stainless steel, climate-controlled trains that customers have become accustomed to today.

The Nostalgia train will operate Sundays only between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22.

During the week, depending on the weather, bus passengers along 42nd Street in Manhattan will be able to ride examples of NYC Transit’s vintage fleet. The buses will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday from Dec. 2 to 20.

These buses are not wheelchair accessible, and they will not operate in the event of rain or snow.

“They are old and catch cold easily,” the MTA said.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

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