Grand Central Gallery & Store

Exhibit Logo for Sea Train: Subway Reef PhotosSea Train: Subway Reef Photos by Stephen Mallon

Through June 16th, 2019

Photographer Stephen Mallon’s images, many seen here for the first time, capture our collective imagination, and serve up the seemingly impossible: iconic subway cars, repurposed to become an artificial reef on the ocean floor. These symbols of industry and busy city life, which carried millions of passengers along New York City’s iron rails for decades, appear shrunken in scale when set against the vastness of the Atlantic seascape. Dropped like toys by brightly-colored cranes off hulking barges between 2001 and 2010, these decommissioned train cars now begin the next chapter of their useful life – as a flourishing new habitat for marine life.



For hours, admission, and directions, please click here.

Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn

Current Exhibits:

Navigating New York

Through September 8, 2019

New York’s transportation history happened in phases, from early ships, trains and passenger ferries to more modern subways, trains, buses and cars. Transportation maps highlight the story of New York’s growth through the increasingly connected transportation system. Indeed, mass transit helped make the greater New York region what it is today. Navigating New York draws on the New York Transit Museum’s collection, artistic renderings, historic maps, guidebooks and digital technology that refresh our view of the city and show how transportation has catalyzed its development.

Ticket to Ride


Through archival photographs, ephemera, and objects from the Transit Museum’s extensive collection, Ticket to Ride shows the evolution of fare collection across all of New York’s modes of transportation. Visitors will see and touch different types of collection equipment such as turnstiles and fare boxes, get a sense the colossal process of fare collection, and see some of the people who make sure the money goes where it’s supposed to go.



Ticket to Ride is generously sponsored by

From the Archive: NYCT Photo Unit Collection 1966 – 2004


The New York Transit Museum Archives recently completed a project processing approximately 300,000 images from the New York City Transit Photographic Unit, an internal division charged with visually documenting the transit agency. In 2004, the Photo Unit was reorganized to embrace emerging digital photographic processes, and in in 2013, forty-plus years of negatives, slides, and prints were accessioned by the Transit Museum Archives.

Produced from the 1960s through 2004, the photographs in this collection depict many facets of the public transit system in New York City, including services above and below ground. The selection of images in this exhibit depict only a fraction of the topics covered in this treasure trove of visual history.


Ex Steel, Stone and Backbone

Steel, Stone & Backbone: Building New York’s Subways presents a look at the construction methods and labor required to build the city’s first subway line at the turn of the 20th Century. Historical artifacts, video and photography footage bring to life the dedication and tenacity of the workers who made this project possible.


GM Rolling Stock BRT Brooklyn Union Elevated Car 1407

Moving the Millions highlights the evolution of the subway and the major issues and events that influenced the development of the largest transportation network in North America.  Home to twenty vintage subway and elevated cars dating back to 1907, and a working signal tower, the Museum’s working platform level spans a full city block.


EX On the Streets Exhibit

On the Streets: New York’s Trolleys and Buses tells the story of above ground mobility and surface transit from the early 1800s to the present.  A 12-seat city bus, “fishbowl” bus cab, walk-don’t walk signs, parking meters, fire hydrants, traffic lights, and an array of other interactive “Street furniture” bring this exhibit to life. Visitors can also learn about the evolution of fuel technologies and its environmental impact.


Ex No Spitting Vintage Sign

No Spitting on the Platform depicts a selection of historic way-finding and platform etiquette signage from the Museum’s archives.



The Dr. GeoEX Dr. George T.F. Rahilly Trolley and Bus Study Centerrge T.F Rahilly Trolley and Bus Study Center features over 50 detailed scale models of trolleys and work cars, with a focus on Brooklyn.



Digital Exhibits

Bringing Back the City: Mass Transit Responds to Crisis

Explore the exhibit online > 

Bringing Back the City offers a unique perspective on the vital, often unseen, work of New York’s transit employees. Using the events of 9/11, the 2003 Northeast Blackout, Hurricane Sandy and other severe weather events as examples, the online exhibition reveals the critical role that mass transit personnel play in preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters.  Through a vibrant display of objects, photographs, media, and personal accounts, the exhibition highlights the technical and professional skills needed to restore public transportation service and get New Yorkers moving again after crisis strikes.

Bringing Back the City was originally on view at the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn September 29, 2015 through September 2, 2018. Due to its popularity the exhibition lives on in this online version for the public to enjoy.


Grand by Design: A Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Terminal

Explore the exhibit online > 

Grand by Design: A Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Terminal features artifacts and photographs – many rarely exhibited – from the New York Transit Museum collection. The digital exhibit presents the Terminal itself as an artifact, using archival images and interviews that convey the story of the building’s past, present and future in larger-than-life detail.

Grand by Design was originally on display in Vanderbilt Hall February 1 to March 15, 2013 to commemorate the Centennial of Grand Central Terminal. The exhibition was also displayed at the Riverfront Library in Yonkers, New York January 11 to March 17, 2014. Due to its popularity the exhibition lives on in this online version for the public to enjoy.


Off-Site Exhibits

Five Cents to Dreamland at the Coney Island Museum

Five Cents to Dreamland: A Trip to Coney Island

On view at the Coney Island Museum 

From horse-drawn carriages, steamboats, and railroads, to the buses and subways of today, mass transportation has played a pivotal role in Coney Island’s development as a seaside resort, the home of the world’s first amusement parks and the densely populated neighborhood it became. Through objects, maps and images from the Museum’s collection, Five Cents to Dreamland traces the evolution of public transportation in Brooklyn and its storied connections to the wonders of Coney Island both past and present.