The rotary fans in the vintage train car were no match for the steamy and humid New York afternoon. Stopping halfway down the train platform, the short train (just three cars long) made stops at just three stations: 42nd, 72nd and 96th Streets, where passengers must empty out. After about ten minutes, it comes back to pick up passengers and makes its way back downtown.
The low voltage car was first in use in 1920 and retired in 1969. Inside, the rattan seats are still in great condition, considering they haven’t been used in over 40 years. The overhead fans whirl about, briskly kicking up the edges of passengers‘ skirts, while also blowing in the breeze from the opened windows (which seems pretty unclean to today’s standards). White individual passenger hangs line each side of the cars.
In place of traditional ads, the vintage train car has Boardwalk Empire-inspired ads, from saltwater taffy to ladies beachwear fashions for fictional stores on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Conductors were sadly not dressed in old timey garb, but they did ride in between the cars, like they did back in the 1920s.
The historical ride is open to anyone with a MetroCard, Saturdays and Sundays in September from noon to 6 p.m. While the ride is a little warm, it is still a really cool way to experience a piece of New York history for the price of a subway ride.
All images © Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat