New York City subway cars have evolved throughout history. As the Brooklyn-Rapid Transit Company (BRT), which would later be renamed as the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT), celebrated its 100th birthday this week, the MTA is unveiling assorted 20th century “nostalgia trains” that will run from Brighton Beach Station on the Q and B lines. Anyone with a metrocard can ride the trains between 12 and 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Founded in 1915, the BMT helped bridge the divide between Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn in the early twentieth century–a time when inter-borough travel was not easy. The BMT was re-branded as the BRT in 1923 and continues to serve the city to this day on various train lines.
“Today, the BMT Division operates the former BMT lines as the and and Franklin Shuttle lines. BMT subway lines were an integral tool in the development of New York City and they remain an essential part of today’s transportation network,” an MTA news release states.
Unsurprisingly, MTA’s old-school trains were markedly more luxurious than what we’re used to riding in present day. MTA notes that when the BMT trains first hit the tracks in 1923, the “BMT’s ‘Standard’ car was 67-feet long” and ten feet wide. That sounds like a nice vacation from those cramped morning commutes on the 4/5/6 or 1/2/3 trains today.
And since you might be too busy jostling for room on those modern trains to partake in the wide-open space of MTA’s throwback editions, you can view some pictures of past nostalgia trains and all of their vintage fixtures and advertisements below.
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