Exhibits

Exhibits

Grand Central Gallery & Store

18th Annual Holiday Train Show

November 21, 2019 – February 23, 2020

Every holiday season, the New York Transit Museum’s Grand Central Gallery plays host to a city within a city with the display of a miniature electric railroad running over, through, and beneath some of New York’s most magnificent landmarks. Celebrating its 18th year of operation, this beloved annual holiday exhibit features model trains traveling along a 34’ long, two-level, “O” gauge model train layout. This year’s exhibit is set against a mural designed by cartoonist Julia Wertz. Departing from a miniature replica of Grand Central Terminal, the Transit Museum’s collection of Lionel trains including Metro-North, Polar Express, and vintage subway train sets will dazzle the eyes of children and adults alike as they make their way past New York landmarks and on to the North Pole!

Click here for hours, admission, and directions.

Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn

CURRENT EXHIBITS:

Photo of Redbirds on Barge with Manhattan Skyline and title of exhibit

Reign of the Redbirds

Opening November 7, 2019

2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the introduction of the R-26, the first of nine types of similar-looking subway cars that ultimately came to be known as “Redbirds.” If you rode the subway between 1959 and 2003, chances are it was on one of these cars. Introduced at varying times and in various colors, they collectively came to be known as “Redbirds” because of the color they were painted from 1984 until the fleet’s retirement in 2003. Boxy and industrial-looking, the cars that became the Redbirds arrived in New York City at a time of great transition. In service for more than four decades, they captured the imaginations of millions, became as iconic as the subway token, and still evoke expressions of admiration to this day.

Reign of the Redbirds is generously sponsored by


Navigating New York

Through January 2020

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

Ongoing

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


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 includes a selection of historic way-finding and platform etiquette signage from the New York Transit Museum’s archives.


EX Dr. George T.F. Rahilly Trolley and Bus Study Center

The Dr. George 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

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.

Explore the exhibit online > 

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

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.

Explore the exhibit online > 

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

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.

On view at the Coney Island Museum